"I was, however, fast asleep in my sleeping bag somewhere in the desert near Fort Sumner on the night of, it is thought, Friday, July 4, 1947, when around midnight my uncle, who had been sitting up pondering the stars and possibly his insignificance in the overall scheme of things, through a smattering of clouds, saw a brilliant meteor-like object streak across the night sky arcing downward to the Earth toward a fast moving lightning infested stormy horizon, all the while dissipating a string of quickly extinguishing small glowing hunks or particles dropping in it's wake."
When my Uncle was around age 21 he was a student attending the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One day an instructor handed him a flyer indicating a local radio station wanted to interview "up and coming artists born in Pennsylvania." In that he was born and raised in a small town in the southeastern corner of the state and at the time considered himself "up and coming," he showed up at the station at the designated time. What came out of the interview is not clear. However, initially, as my uncle told it, he was totally upset because the person the station set him up to be interviewed by was a 15 year old boy. That boy turned out to be Frank Edwards, who eventually grew up to be a fairly major radio broadcaster, and, as well, a major mover in the early UFO field. In that my uncle and Edwards came to share equal and like interests in a number of areas over time he continued to follow Edwards as he moved upward throughout his career. But, it wasn't until August of 1954 when Edwards was, as my uncle felt, unjustly fired from his nationally syndicated radio show that he contacted Edwards.
According to my uncle, Edwards remembered the interview at Carnegie Mellon quite well and was happy to meet with him. The meeting came off sometime in 1955, although the specific time and place or the circumstances surrounding the physical aspects of that meeting are not known. Edwards, who discussed any and all UFO phenomenom quite openly was, as my uncle saw it, strangely quiet about a then unpublicized and basically unknown within the community UFO episode said to have occured near Kingman, Arizona in the late spring of 1953. Looking back, Edwards may have been watching his own back because of how Frank Scully had been so badly burned by a True Magazine article in September 1952 regarding his story on the alleged Aztec, New Mexico crash in March 1948.
My uncle told Edwards that his impetus for meeting him surrounded the 1953 Kingman incident. The Kingman incident happened the year before Edwards was fired and was on the forefront of my uncle's mind. As a matter of fact, he had contacted me, the young boy that I was, to join him on some expedition related to it at the end of May of '53. I wasn't able to go, but if my uncle DID he only vaguely or cryptically shared any results with me.(see) So too, whatever he told Edwards about Kingman apparently receded into the background of their conversation, moving instead into a more indepth discussion about Roswell.
In those days neither Kingman nor Roswell was very high up on anybody's radar --- and as far as Roswell was concerned, most of what was, as small as it was, concentrated almost exclusively around what happened or what was found on the so-called debris field at the Foster ranch outside Corona, New Mexico, mangaged by the ranch foreman Mac Brazel. For sure, almost nothing ever came up regarding the impact of a heavier object that, within moments after crossing over the Brazel ranch, slammed into the boulders along the lower north slope of the Capitan Mountains. The following, from a much later account, probably says it best:
"The debris field at the Brazel ranch, although the most well known, was NOT the main impact site. The main body of the craft, dropping rapidly and then leveling off having either lost power or disabled in some fashion, and not able to change speed, direction, or climb sufficiently, all the while traveling hundreds of miles per hour, crossed over the Brazel ranch and basically flat desert terrain toward the mountains to the south. Failing in an effort to gain sufficient altitude to clear the crest of the oncoming mountains, the object slammed into the short rough upslope with a forced reduction of speed through the trees and dirt, eventually sliding sideways to a hard stop against the rocks and boulders on the north side of the Capitan Mountains --- some thirty-five miles south-southeast of the Brazel ranch."(source)
That same night a college professor and several of his students, who had been working archaeology sites during the day and had set up camp to begin again in the morning, saw the object, or at least some object, streak across the sky and apparently crash into the mountains nearby. In THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated the following is presented regarding what the professor and students saw and did:
"At first light the archaeologist, ProfessorWilliam Curry Holden of Texas Tech, with the students who who had been working sites with him in the area the previous day, break camp to look for whatever they saw fall from the sky the the night prior. Hiking in the general direction the object went down they stumble across the impact site, the object nearly sideways and fully positioned against the rocks. Later reports described it as looking like a crashed airplane without wings with a flat fuselage. Some reports imply the fuselage has a delta or wedge shape to it while others mention an almost circular crescent moon shape. All agree it was made of metal of some type."
Although the professor and his students arrived just after sunrise they were quickly escorted out of the area by well equipped and armed military personnel already on the scene. According to what is found in ROSWELL ARCHAEOLOGISTS: The Dirt Before The Dig, that same weekend Holden's friend C. Bertrand Schultz tried to find Holden after being told he was doing field work in the mountains west of Roswell. Schultz, not being able to locate him, continued toward his original destination in Nebraska. For mile after mile as he drove north he noticed all road access, big or small, major or mere cow path, that led toward the west along his route had been cordoned off or blocked by armed uniformed soldiers. Schultz put it down to a military exercise of some sort, and since he was headed north anyway, any blockage to the west didn't interfere with his trip, and not knowing anything about any sort of a crash that weekend, just let it go at the time.
Continuing on, as found in THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated
"(My uncle) after visiting the archaeologist site and finding a fairly well executed attempt at returning it to its natural state, is convinced, in spite of that attempt to camouflage the damage, something with some weight to it or at least speed, and apparently large enough to break limbs in a fairly wide track --- as well as being hot enough to scorch the trees and foilage, angled through a top portion of the forest and down into the open area surrounding the boulders, ending up against the rocks..."
The above visit by my uncle to the archaeologist site happened some two months after the alleged July 4th crash. Although my uncle didn't possess the necessary clearances or credentials he was there at the express personal request and waiver of the famed astronomer, meteorite hunter and scientist Dr. Lincoln La Paz. La Paz had been recruited by the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps to calculate the speed and tajectory of the object and given carte blanche over the operation. Master Sergeant Lewis "Bill" Rickett was assigned by the CIC to work with him. With Rickett watching every move, La Paz, along with his otherwise handpicked on-the-ground field team, which included my uncle, were able to calculate the object's path coming in over the Brazel ranch, across the fused glass site, ending up in the Capitan Mountains by extrapolating results from interviews and physical evidence they either found, given, discovered on their own, and/or afforded access to La Paz by the government.
All of the above, that an ultra-highspeed airborne object of some nature swept in over the Brazel ranch shedding parts and debris; Holden and some students seeing something come down in the mountains that same night within seconds across the flatlands from the Brazel ranch and searching for it the next morning only to find a metal crescent or disc-like object nearly sideways and fully positioned against the rocks; the whole area being cordoned off by military personnel; AND the fact that two months later my uncle was at the same site investigating what happened there, came to light in the 1955 discussion between my uncle and Edwards. Although most of it is common knowledge now, at the time, circa 1955, basically none of it was known very far afield --- and especially so, put together in such a neat package.
Previously I said any conversation associated with the Kingman incident must have quickly receded into the background of any discussion between my uncle and Edwards --- moving instead into a more indepth talk regarding Roswell. I say so because in the twelve years that transpired after the two of them met in 1955 and Edward's death in 1967, if Edwards ever discussed Kingman, at least at any length, I never heard about it. To underscore what I mean, on the evening of April 28, 1956, less than one full year after he and my uncle met, Edwards was the featured speaker at a public meeting put on by an organization calling itself The Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York. In a question answer session following his prepared speech he was asked by a member of the audience:
"Is there any evidence that any of objects have crashed?"
According to the typed transcripts, notes that were taken in real life and in real time on the scene, and of which can now be found in full by clicking the source link at the end of the quote --- remembering all the while this is in April of 1956 --- Edwards, without hesitation and NO mention of the Kingman incident as a potential or possible crash, responded with:
"I'm not too sure some of them haven't. Way back in 1947, at Roswell, New Mexico, a farmer reported he saw something strike a mountainside and crash. According to what I was told, they threw troops in a circle all around that place, and would let nobody in for five days. Finally they came up with a picture of a man holding a little crumpled kite with aluminum foil on it --- a radar target --- they said this was it --- believe it or not. There have been many other rumors since then of saucers having crashed. I don't know whether there's any truth in them."(source)
So, here's Edwards, in 1956, taking all of the information as presented above through conversation with my uncle circa 1955 and condensing it into one brief paragraph. Notice in his reponse to objects crashing Edwards says, "I'm not too sure some of them haven't." SOME, he says --- he uses the word SOME along with the words not sure --- which means the possibility of more than one. Then, immediately jumps to Roswell with no mention of any of the other possible "somes" including Kingman. The answer to his questioner as recorded in the transcripts is considered one of the very first, if not THE first, by a major player put before the public eye, that actually connects that a UFO crashed and the location of that crash was Roswell. Same with the fact that the military circled or cordoned off the area. Ten years later and still well before the onslaught of Roswell lore that inundated the 1980s and beyond, Edwards, in his book FLYING SAUCERS: Serious Business (1966), on page 41-42 of the PDF version of his paperback book so sourced, basically repeating his 1956 response, writes:
"There are such difficult cases as the rancher near Roswell, New Mexico, who phoned the Sheriff that a blazing disc-shaped object had passed over his house at low altitiide and had crashed and burned on a hillside within view of the house. The Sheriff called the military; the military came on the double quick. Newsmen were not permitted in the area. A week later, however, the government released a photograph of a service man holding up a box kite with an aluminum disc about the size of a large pie pan dangling from the bottom of the kite. This, the official report explained, was a device borne aloft on the kite and used to test radar gear by bouncing the signals off the pie pan. And this, we were told, was the sort of thing that had so excited the rancher. We were NOT told, however, how the alleged kite caught fire�nor why the military cordoned off the area while they inspected the wreckage of a burned-out box kite with a non-inflammable pie pan tied to it."
(for access to free PDF version click image)
What is so great about what Edwards said is that the information as he presented it was still pristine, especially his early 1956 comments done long before any of the later corrruption or exaggeration of facts crept in and obscured reality. Edwards himself, however, never claimed to have done any on-site investigations or field interviews regarding the events surrounding the alleged Roswell crash per se.' Conventional wisdom has it that he learned about the events from a press clipping sent to him by a radio listener. The press clipping is usually thought to be from the Roswell Daily Record dated Tuesday, July 8, 1947, or one of the wireservice repeats that cites a Roswell couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot, who were said to have been sitting on the front porch of their home around 10 PM Wednesday, July 2nd when they observed a large circular object "like two inverted saucers faced mouth to mouth" come in out of the southeast toward the northwest at a high rate of speed. The object disappeared out of view over the treetops in the direction of the old limestone quarry on Six Mile Hill outside of town. Linda G. Corley PhD, in a 1981 interview for a book she was writing about former Roswell intelligence officer Jesse Marcel, Marcel revealed that Wilmot's son Paul told him that his parents had actually seen the object explode. THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated describes more closely the events as they unfolded:
"Years later Dan Wilmot, mentioned above as sitting on the porch with his wife, came forward and said he too had seen a flash in the sky in the same direction around the same time that could have been an explosion. He stated he had been reluctant to come forward because the object he saw a few nights earlier, Wednesday, July 2nd, from the same porch location was a 'flying saucer.' There is also some dispute as to the direction of the craft. Wilmot was initally quoted as saying the object zoomed in out of the southeast, going in a northwesterly direction. In his 'years later' discription the object comes in on a huge curve from the northwest crossing the local meridian only to continue its curve in a huge arc to the southwest. The dispute can easily be rectified if Wilmot is talking about two different nights and observations, which appears to be that he is."
If you read what Frank Edwards says on the 1956 transcripts just what does he say? First, he gives the year, 1947. Then he gives the location, Roswell, New Mexico. Then that a farmer saw something strike a mountainside and crash. And last that troops put a circle in place all around the location and would not let anybody in for five days. That is a lot of information for 1956 that doesn't or hadn't shown up previously. If, as he admits, he never interviewed any of the known actors in the events nor did any on-site investigations AND if his information was from a newpaper clipping or clippings, how much of the specific information he presents shows up in the Roswell Daily Record dated Tuesday, July 8, 1947 or anyplace else prior to 1956? The Daily Record article, of which the wireservices received their information, reads:
"The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that the field has come into possession of a flying saucer.
"According to information released by the department, over authority of Maj. J. A. Marcel, intelligence officer, the disk was recovered on a ranch in the Roswell vicinity, after an unidentified rancher had notified Sheriff Geo. Wilcox, here, that he had found the instrument on his premises.
"Major Marcel and a detail from his department went to the ranch and recovered the disk, it was stated.
"After the intelligence officer here had inspected the instrument it was flown to higher headquarters."
The specific date isn't given, but is assumed to be July from the context of the rest of the article and the date of the paper. The location is given as being in the Roswell vicinity. That's it. No mention of a crash or, especially so, as Edwards writes it, "a farmer reported he saw something strike a mountainside and crash." Nor is there any mention of troops or troops cordoning off the or any area.
My uncle had personally been to the debris field, the fused-glass site, and the archaeologist crash site in the Capitan Mountains, either immediately after the crash or with La Paz within two months of the crash --- all in 1947. In 1955 he met with Edwards and in 1956, after that meeting, Edwards was able to give out the most specific and most concise details of what transpired in Roswell than had ever been previously brought to the public's attention.
Sometime in the waning weeks of the summer of 1946, my uncle, who had spent most of his adult life operating in and around the Taos, Santa Fe area as well as a good part of the rest of the desert southwest, moved to, on what he thought would be a short-term basis, Los Angeles, California, to oversee me, first at the request of my grandmother, then my father and my then-new-to-me or soon to be Stepmother. He was given complete authority to oversee me as he so chose, as long as I received extensive education in the sciences, hard academics, philosophy, and the arts. So, as he saw it, travel was a part of the mix. Somewhere along the way he had caught wind of a potential new fossil find in the Arizona Strip related to the Teratorn, a giant bird with over a twenty-foot wingspan thought to be the inspiration of Native American Thunderbird legends. When school let out sometime just before or around the middle of June, 1947, off he went, taking me with him.
Done with teratorn stuff, a few days before the 4th of July weekend found us working our way across the desert after having holed up for some minor exploration at the Elden Pueblo where prehistoric Native Americans had buried in a ritual fashion an extremely rare type meteorite, thought possibly to have come from the surface of Mars or the far side of the Moon. From there we camped near the pit houses along the rim of Meteor Crater. One night, after a rather long discussion around the campfire about Albert Franklin Banta, the man who reportedly discovered the crater and the fact that he was involved in The Long Walk endured by the Navajos and Apaches, my uncle decided I should learn about what they went through first hand --- and while we were at it, visit the gravesite of Billy the Kid. Combining both endeavors put us near Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
It had been several weeks since school was out and we left California, basically living in the backcountry, moving from site to site and camping along the way with very little contact with the outside world. In the process I had really lost track of day and date. I was, however, fast asleep in my sleeping bag somewhere in the desert near Fort Sumner on the night of, it is thought, Friday, July 4, 1947, when around midnight my uncle, who had been sitting up pondering the stars and possibly his insignificance in the overall scheme of things, through a smattering of clouds, saw a brilliant meteor-like object streak across the night sky arcing downward to the Earth toward a fast moving lightning infested stormy horizon, all the while dissipating a string of quickly extinguishing small glowing hunks or particles dropping in it's wake. Thinking it was a meteor and thinking his friend La Paz might be interested in a fresh strike, my uncle began an effort to contact him. In that it was long before the days of cell phones it took a couple of days for the two of them to connect. La Paz informed my uncle that from all indications whatever he saw streak across the sky that night it was NOT a meteor nor a known aircraft of some type --- but whatever it was, after talking with La Paz my uncle was chaffing at the bit to go to the suspected impact site and see for himself if there was any truth behind the so called Hieroglyphic Writing La Paz heard rumors of as being on some of the metal scraps.
When they did meet up it was along some deep-rutted dirt road out in the middle of nowhere. La Paz was traveling with his wife and two daughters, the three of which stayed in the car while La Paz got out. He and my uncle walked around a few yards off the road and into the scrubbrush and talked while I tried to show-off and make as much eye contact with the two girls that I could, both of whom were quite a bit older than me and neither of which showed even the slightest interest.
Maybe twenty minutes into their conversation a dust encrusted olive drab military jeep without any numbers, markings or insignias that I was able to see or make out came bouncing across the desert toward us with two men, one a GI, who was driving, the other dressed in civilian garb sitting on the passenger side. Both joined La Paz and my uncle. Without me having a clue as to what was going on my uncle walked over to our truck followed by the civilian and pulled a canvas shoulder bag from a box in the pick-up bed along with a pair of binoculars and a couple of canteens, one on a WW II pistol belt I always wore when we were in the field. As he motioned me toward him, the civilian got into our truck, started the engine, turned the vehicle around and drove away on the same road we came in on. La Paz got in his car and drove off as well.
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The driver of the jeep, apparently proceeding very carefully not to be seen or raise any dust, took us, by circling quite some distance around the main ranch proper, to a place by a watering trough next to a mostly dilapidated shelter that was not much more than a lean-to or a roof held up by four posts covering a half dozen or so falling apart ancient bales of hay or alfalfa. No sooner had the jeep left than we started walking up a gradual slope from the hay shelter to the crest of a small hill that overlooked the main ranch area some distance away and below us. The last few yards we crawled to the crest in a prone position and looked down on the structures while my uncle tried to determine what was going on and the status of the situation. There were a few vehicles parked together and some minor activity close-by but none to speak of in the area that would eventually become known as the debris field. We returned to the hay shelter resting out of the direct sun most of the rest of the day, dozing on and off and staring at a windmill off in the distance change direction in the prevailing wind.(see) When the sun was mostly low in the horizon we circled around and came in from the far side or end of the debris field, walking much of it's length and zig-zagging a lot of it's width, with, as far as I could tell, little or no results. By the time it was dark we were able to walk directly to the hay shelter without detection. The next morning early, just before sunrise, after giving me all kinds of directions on what to do if he didn't return, my uncle headed toward the debris field without me. He returned maybe around ten. Later we went back to the crest of the hill, only this time instead of minor activity below us there was tons of it. Personnel all over, trucks and jeeps streaming in and out, and lots of people walking the debris field. My uncle, looking at his pocket compass, said it was time to leave and we started walking.
Now, people who are familar with the Roswell story, or at least think they are, find it incredulous that my uncle and I or any other non-secured person would be able to get close to, let alone walk the debris field within a few days of the crash --- especially considering all of the military security, cordons, and controls that were thought or said to have been put into place all over the general area. However, most of it had to do with timing. Before higher ups became aware of what they were potentially dealing with there was a wide open window of opportunity and ample time to slip in and out of the area --- cordons or not --- and, although it was never reported widely, lots and lots of people did, even to the point of hauling off some of the debris. Thomas J. Carey, in his book Witness To Roswell (2004) writes:
"Within the next two days after the crash, others who owned surrounding ranches would go out of their way to check out the story about 'pieces of a flying saucer.' Budd Eppers and Truman Pierce would arrive on the scene. Glaze Sacra would load a number of 'wightless' pieces of metal into his pickup an head discreetly home. Danny Boswell's parents, who owned a ranch 25 miles to the east, drove 45 minutes to see for themselves what everyone was talking about."
In the same book Carey goes on to list several others that physically accessed the debris field one way or the other, usually crossing over wideopen and, as I can attest to, unpatrolled rangeland, from close-by ranches --- fully unimpeded by security supposedly blocking roads into the area from the east. Those known to have accessed the area through research done by Carey (primarily personal interviews) included the son of a local ranch hand, Sydney "Jack" Wright, two sons of rancher Thomas Edington, one of rancher Truman Pierce's daughters, as well as Paul Price and his older brother. Carey also writes that the young son of a hired hand from the Richards ranch, Trinidad "Trini" Chavez, spied, interestingly enough, from a distant hill with a couple of other boys and in his interview with Carey stated trucks and jeeps surrounded the area and that he saw men with rifles. Accordingly, it was too late for Chavez to take a piece of wreckage himeslf. "Too many damn soldiers," he said. Later that day, writes Carey, witness would report observing trucks with large spotlights.
How Carey obtained the names of all of the individuals above is not made clear. If they stepped forward or one identified the other who identified another as being a person who visited the debris field is not known. Tim Printy, an avowed UFO skeptic, as might be expected, is skeptical and presents in Vultures in the Desert a rather strong case against what Carey presents. Printy writes that in Carey's version everyone knew about the event long before the US military: Every rancher that could find it came to the Foster Ranch and picked up their own little souvenir. Printy, speaking of Loretta Proctor, the wife of Floyd Proctor, ranchers and the closest neighbors to Brazel, says:
"Based on this information we have to wonder why Loretta Proctor told researchers long ago that her husband and her did not have the time or gas to drive to the crash site. Were these ranchers far less busy? Did they have a greater amount of gas? It must have looked like the county fair with so many trucks coming and going from the debris field. Certainly, the Proctors would have to go and take a look."
That could well be the case, one-on-one, not having the gas or time for the Proctors specifically. How it would translate generally, or even specifically to ranchers and farmers all over the same general area is another thing. As it has been reported elsewhere, Brazel was known as "not to have two nickels to rub together," yet he still was able to maintain a wife and kids over 100 miles away in the little town of Tularosa as well as drive into Corona on Saturday after the crash and on Sunday drive in the opposite direction clear to Roswell. Some say Brazel was a ranch manager, others a lease holder, in either case not an owner. He may have received a regular paycheck or stipend of some type and his gas costs may have been expensed in some fashion. However, if you look at those so presented by Carey as having visited the debris field a good portion seem to have been the sons and daughters of ranchers or ranch hands, not ranchers themselves. They also seemed to be traveling in groups. Most likely they had nothing better to do --- and, in that gas cost less that 25 cents a gallon in those days what could be more exciting than each throwing a quarter or two into the pot for gas and go spying on a flying saucer that crashed near where you lived. For certain, a young ranch hand named Tommy Tyree, although not mentioned by Carey or others, and that Brazel hired after the crash, had gone to the debris field to meet friends. I know if I had lived around there then I would have. A Google search shows many of the people interviewed by Carey still live in the general Roswell area so it is fairly easy to substantiate most of it.
It seems fairly clear that between the time someone like Sacra could blatently drive up in his pick-up and load a number of 'wightless' pieces of metal into the bed of his truck and simply drive off and the time Chavez thought there were too many damn soldiers to take a piece of wreckage himself and decided it best to remain on the distant hill and just spy instead, things must have changed. The differences between the two incidents does, however, point out that early on the ability to access the debris field without being caught did exist. It also points out that even much later into the incident one could, if one so chose, still get as close as a distant hill and spy on the activities with virtual impunity. So said, in my case, traveling with my uncle and with the help of La Paz within days of the crash, it is easy to see how we were able to pull it off. (see)
By Wednesday July 9th things were apparently quite different. Bud Payne, said to have been a rancher or possibly a hired hand as well as a neighbor to Brazel, was innocently enough on horseback in hot pursuit of a a stray cow and crossed onto the Foster ranch. No sooner had he done so and not even close to the debris field, than a jeep with several armed soldiers pulled up and escorted him off the property. But, what had changed?
On Sunday, July 6, 1947, Brazel went into Roswell and showed some of the debris he found on the ranch to the sheriff. Inturn the sheriff contacted authorities at the Roswell Army Air Force base. What happened next is best said as found in THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated:
"Colonel William Blanchard, commanding officer of the 509th Bomb Group, either holding back information on the archaeologist site or not knowing about it because it was handled by White Sands, orders Jesse Marcel, the Air Intelligence Officer, to investigate. Marcel interviews Brazel, examines pieces of the material that Brazel brought in, and decides he had better visit the ranch and examine the field himself."
Marcel gathered up a bunch of the debris and on the way back, because of it's unusual properties and thinking his family might find it interesting, stopped by his house and showed a great deal of it to his wife and son. After an hour or so he loaded it back into his vehicle and continued on. Marcel had no concerns that he was breaking any rules or regulations because, to his knowledge, at the time, no level of classification had been afforded the event. The thing is, even though Marcel was the Air Intelligence Officer at the base, he was patently unaware and uninformed as to the level of or the connection between the downed craft at the archaeologist site, which WAS highly classified (to wit, all the security and armed soldiers for example) and the event at the debris field. It is almost as though up to that time they HAD NOT been connected OR Marcel had been left out of the loop on a "need to know" basis.
From almost the moment of the impact until sometime afterwards the archaeologist site remained for the most part, pretty well contained, primarily because it was under the auspices of the military from the very beginning, the object having been tracked by White Sands authorities. The debris field, on the other hand, had been discovered by civilians and it was awhile before the information fell into the hands of the military and worked its way up the chain of command (not to White Sands brass, but Roswell Army Air Force base folk --- widening the gap further between the two). In the meantime civilians started crawling all over the place. Even articles about a flying disc being found were being published and distributed all over the country. Around the time Marcel was showing the material to his family higher ups did start putting the two events together --- and after that things changed quickly.
To cover their tracks a whole series of intentional disinformation was put into place to ensure any questions about a flying disc was directed toward the Brazel site, inturn bluring both locations into being only one: Brazel's. Why? Because there was no sign of an actual craft at his place, only scattered debris that could easily be foisted off as a weather balloon. Heavier or larger components such as a power source, if there was one, had already been crated up and carted off --- or remained laying out on the desert floor some distance away from the debris field along the object's flight path, unknown and undetected --- all the while the archaeologist site was in the final stages of being totally sanitized.
As it is easily seen in all of the above, and no amount of agrument will alter the fact when all of it is put together, there clearly existed a significant amount of disconnect between the two sites during the very early stages at the debris field to allow all of the access so cited.
NOTE: If you have not read any of the Footnotes as of yet, including the section on the Kingman incident, please scroll down toward the bottom of the page.
ROSWELL: WHAT CAUSED THE UFO CRASH?
THE GREAT 1947 SUNSPOT, ROSWELL AND CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS
ROSWELL I-BEAM HIEROGLYPHS
ROSWELL CRASH: UFO DOWN
ROSWELL: CIRCA 1947
As to the subject of donations, for those who may be so interested as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
THE KINGMAN INCIDENT:
Not counting a phone call I received from my uncle when I was a kid, the Kingman incident came up several times between us, first only briefly, many, many years after his discussion with Edwards. As time went on he eventually filled me in on the full story of his involvement start to finish as he knew it. For more on how Edwards and all of the above relates to the crash at Kingman, see:
JUDITH ANN WOOLCOTT
CIVILIAN SAUCER INTELLIGENCE OF NEW YORK
PUBLIC MEETING OF APRIL 28, 1956
SPEAKER FRANK EDWARDS
The following two pages, pages 9 and 10, are from the ten page speech transcript as given by Frank Edwards at the Civilian Saucer Intelligence meeting April 28, 1956. The whole of the transcript of his speech, in full, that is all ten pages, can be found by clicking the red link above. The quoted paragraph so referenced to that this footnote is cited from is found starting in the bottom few sentences of page 9 continuing onto the top of page 10:
Over and over in my works it comes up that on the Fourth of July weekend of 1947 found my uncle and me camping out over night on the desert floor near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, on our way to see Billy the Kid's gravesite. Us going to the Kid's gravesite came up through a series of conversations over a period of time during a road trip that summer, primarily connected through discussions surrounding the 1862 forced relocation of the Navajo and Apaches called The Long Walk that ended at a place called Bosque Redondo. As serious as the subject matter for those discussions may have been, the existence of Billy the Kid came into my life in a much more frivolous fashion --- by seeing the 1946 release of the Howard Hughes production of the movie The Outlaw. After seeing the movie and my uncle believing it was a travesty of history he obtained and gave me with instructions to read, which I did, a small book with the cover title of Billy the Kid, The Outlaw (Atomic Books, 1946) that was actually garnered from a much larger book titled Authentic Story of Billy the Kid by sheriff Pat Garrett, the man credited with shooting Billy.
BILLY THE KID
FULL LENGTH MOVIE: THE OUTLAW (1943)
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A lot of you have read of my travels and adventures with my uncle, like the one above about walking the fresh debris field and stuff like that and think "WOW." However, I was just a kid like all kids, except that I had an extraordinary uncle that took me with him doing all kinds of things and going all kinds of places that a typical kid wouldn't usually be confronted with. I stretched from wild-eyed excitement about any and everything to full-on out-and-out boredom. To wit, below is something I wrote that shows up at the source so cited:
"I was raised on Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers and experienced the giant UFO Over Los Angeles, so rocketships or objects from outer space or other planets just didn't seem all that unusual to me. I spent a good part of my time out in the cab of the truck reading comic books, sitting around in waiting rooms or narrow halls of places that looked like doctors offices or hospitals. Even more time was spent hanging out in dirty little rooms stuck back in the corners of hot, dusty hanger type buildings stacked to the ceiling with falling over old newspapers, out of date World War II Mil-Spec operator handbooks and training manuals, as well as grungy old coffee cups all over the place with spoons and dead bugs stuck in the bottom of thin layer of some sort of a dried-up brown, tar-like residue --- presumably it is guessed, being at onetime, coffee." (source)
Philosophically speaking I suppose sitting and watching windmills off in the distance is far more quixotic and better than exploring the inside of grungy old coffee cups. There was lots of downtime and being away from home without other kids or siblings to play with. So, like other kids in a similar or like situation I did lots of things to entertain myself and occupy my mind. During the night I might learn about the stars and during the day I might be found digging up Teratorn fossils. Othertimes, during down time I would gather up small pebbles or rocks and make little campfire rings with tiny little "Y" forked sticks with another stick across it as though it could hold a tiny little hanging pot. I would even put little logs in the rock ring. At the hay shelter on the hill above and behind the debris field I even made and buried a "time capsule" thinking I would come back one day in the future and dig it up.
The graphic of the G.I. canteen in the main part of the text above shows, along with the canteen, a pouch hooked to the pistol belt. I had a couple of those "Carlisle" first aid pouches and I used to carry all kinds of stuff in them. Stainless steel pocket knife with a fold-out fork and spoon. Compass. Waterproof matches. When I was at the debris field I had a handheld toy red-and-black plastic-bakelite film strip viewer with me. My uncle told me one time if the Earth ever blew-up and formed an asteroid belt around the sun like the one between Mars and Jupiter some far-in-the-future space explorer would still be able to find pieces of plastic imbedded in the rock-chunks --- because plastic junk lasts forever. Well, I didn't want to part with my pocketknife, compass or matches, so for my time capsule I buried the plastic film viewer. With that I took a gas station paper towel I had in my back pocket and using my most favored gift from my stepmother, a Reynolds Rocket ballpoint pen that could write underwater or out in space --- which I wish I still had --- and made a treasure map.
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Years passed and I forgot all about it. One day I was moving stuff and ran across my pebble grained faux-leather high school graduation certificate holder. Inside was my diploma along with an official looking "deed" for one whole square inch of land in Canada's Yukon Territory from the Klondike Big Inch Land Company dated January 4, 1955, a really good copy of Uncle Scrooge, Issue #14, June 1956, with a story about Scrooge, his deed and dealings with one inch of land called Faulty Fortune, AND the treasure map I drew for my time capsule.
UNCLE SCROOGE: FAULTY FORTUNE
The next time I went to see my uncle in Santa Fe I took the map along. When I showed it to him and expressed the possibility of the two of us going to look for it he put his hand out in an open-palm "halt" fashion and told me to wait. A few minutes later he was opening a cardboard box he had pulled from the attic and started rummaging around in it. He pulled out a bag and dumped the contents on the table. There in front of me was what was left of a broken to pieces red-and-black plastic film strip viewer. My uncle told me right after meeting with Frank Edwards, about ten years or so after we had been to the debris field, he went back. He walked the old debris field as well as the hill we had observed from. He also tried to find the hay shelter and water trough, but to no avail. Walking the area where he thought it should be he spotted pieces of red plastic in the dirt. Looking more carefully he was eventually able to find most of the viewer, including parts of the film strip. Apparently what happened, and it was just speculation on my uncle's part for the lack or any other explanation, it looked like a disc harrow may have been pulled through the area and one of the discs must have ran right over where I had buried the viewer, scattering it into pieces along a straight line over several feet.
My idea to make a time capsule did not spring from whole cloth, by the way. Somehow I got the idea from my uncle, mimicking his actions. That is, somewhere near or around where we were, my uncle made his own time capsule, burying something OR some-things, pieces and parts he found out out on the debris field. I have reason to guess that was the case because there would be no need to bury anything he already had with him that would be worth leaving then come back for. Apparently that is just what he did, come back for whatever he buried. Other than the fact that he showed me he had pieces of my film viewer that he came across in the hills up and beyond the debris field years after the crash I would never have known he went back. According to the suggestion proffered in The Roswell Ray Gun all indications are that the something buried recovered from the Roswell debris field in 1947 turned out to be a device similar to a hand-held pistol, albeit said by some from an advanced alien culture. There are also strong rumors to the effect that an 'extraterrestrial' breathing apparatus of some type may have been found and subjected to reverse engineering as well. See:
AREA 51, GROOM LAKE, ROSWELL
As I have so stated in the above main text, traveling with my uncle and with the help of La Paz within days of the crash, at least in hindsight, it is easy to see how we were able to pull it off, that is access the debris field. Now, while it is true the jeep driver was exceptionally careful and my uncle was equally as careful not to "get caught," as I viewed it I would have just shrugged my shoulders and said, "Get caught from what?" There was little or no signs of major military activity during the early stages that I was able to determine from our vantage point on the hill. As for cordons, if there were any cordons when we went in I didn't see any. However, I have always thought to this day two things, one, there were NO cordons at the time we went in, or two, if there were cordons, where we met La Paz was inside any cordoned off area and La Paz "arranged" for us to pass through unhindered OR we slipped through some backdoor La Paz knew about. Timothy Printy, in his internet site Popular Roswell Myths, lists as his Number 10 Myth that there were no cordons PERIOD. He goes on to write:
"Based on the limited manpower available and the lack of any records for a widespread use of personnel, it seems that security off base probably was not as extensive as claimed by the crashed UFO proponents. Additionally, the idea of a "cordon" is also directly, or indirectly, refuted by many witnesses."(source)
Printy then goes on to list the following "holes" in the cordon myth, all of which, taken together, leaves open a huge window of opportunity to have accessed the debris field without being confronted by any authority figures, military or otherwise, at least for the first few days following the crash:
- Bill Brazel had easy access to the Foster Ranch when he came to find his father around the 10th. Either the "cordon" was gone by then or it did not exist.
- Mack Brazel had no problems getting through the "cordon" to report his find in Roswell on the 7th (or the 6th depending on the timeline). If the cordon existed, then they would have stopped him (the "Cordon" works both ways as one can see in the definition) if he had any debris from a crashed spaceship and/or probably would have had him escorted directly to the base.
- Jesse Marcel Sr. reported no "cordon" or interference on his drive to the Foster ranch on the 7th (or the 6th depending on the time line) and back on the morning of the 8th. This is after or during the time that Woody was seeing all the soldiers guarding the exits. This implies that no "cordon" was in effect until after the morning meeting of the 8th at the earliest.
- Floyd Proctor had no problems driving down to Roswell and back to see Mack Brazel being escorted around town starting on the 8th (or later depending on when you choose to believe Brazel was in custody of the military or Walt Whitmore Sr).
NOTE: You may recall in the main text above and as found in Vultures in the Desert, that Printy reported Loretta Proctor told researchers she and her husband did not have the time or the gas to drive to the crash site --- which was less than 10 miles from where they lived --- but Floyd could still drive clear into Roswell and back.
- Sheridan Cavitt states there was no such "cordon".
- Loretta Proctor never mentioned military personnel interfering with trips on and off their ranch (Hmmm...appears like more gas used by the Proctors).
- The fire department (according to Frankie Rowe's story) had no problem reaching the crash site after being alerted. The "cordon" would have stopped them.
- The archeologists (whoever they were) had no difficulty reaching the crash site despite the "cordon".
- Walt Whitmore Sr. had no difficulty in getting up to the Foster Ranch and bringing Mack Brazel back to town.
I use Printy's work above, an avowed UFO skeptic, because it credibly supports my thesis along with what I presented in the main text by Thomas J. Carey, a pro UFO advocate, that there were indeed huge loopholes is the security at the debris field which inturn allowed my uncle and me to not only access the field uninhibited, but also as well, all the time we were there. However, what I have presented by Printy is only half of his works regarding cordons. The whole of his main thesis in Myth #10 is that there were NO cordons. I am of the opinion that sometime shortly after the crash there were cordons, maybe not in the classical sense that show up in some military "cordon rule book," but that there was eventually some sort of military guard presence on the outlying edges of the debris field if not cordons. The very moment my uncle got back from his early morning exploration of the debris field he said the place was becoming a beehive of activity. We hunkered down in the shade of the hay shelter for sometime, then went to the crest of the hill to take a look, and sure enough, it was just like my uncle said --- although it was much more like an anthill than a beehive, with military personnel crawling all over the place, trucks and jeeps streaming in and out, and lots of people walking the debris field. He looked at his pocket compass, shaded his eyes with his hand to get a quick position of the sun and said it was time for us to get the hell out of there. With that we started walking.(see)
As for military guidelines in some "cordon rule book," at the very beginning of his Myth #10, Printy gives the official military guidelines for cordons and checkpoints in 1946, presenting the following:
"A check point is a place where military personnel stop all persons and vehicles for identification and/or investigation. A cordon is a series of check points so established around an area that persons and/or vehicles cannot enter or leave the surrounded area without being stopped at one or more check points. (HQ US Zone 50)"
However, you must remember it was civilians that called what they saw cordons or checkpoints, NOT the military. To civilians they very much may have appeared to be cordons, but it doesn't mean in a true military sense they were cordons. Although I have other reasons to believe there was some sort of military guards or security eventually put into place around access to the debris field, mainly I say so because of my uncle being privy to the conversation between Holden and Schultz at the American Anthropological Association conference held December 28-31, 1947, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After Schultz told Holden he tried to locate him over the July 4th weekend Holden told Schultz about what he and his students saw and that they were escorted out of the area. Schultz inturn told Holden about the military roadblocks he saw along the leftside of the highway all the way north to at least Ramon. My uncle was attending the same conference and was part of the conversation. (see)
For the record, although I like Printy's works and agree with some of the stuff that he has to say, linking to him or quoting him on occasion, I am in disagreement with Printy's numbers 7 and 8 above. Both of those events were at the archaeologist site in the Capitan Mountains and NOT at the debris field. The military presence was quite different at the two sites. In THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated, although there is some disagreement as to IF it was a fire truck and full contingent or a lone fire fighter in his personal car that went to the Capitan Mountains site, the following is found regarding the arrival on the scene in the early pre-dawn hours (the results would remain the same, however the differences are clarified at the sourced link above):
"(T)he military had only just arrived on the scene themselves and when the fire truck and police car contingent turned onto the dirt road from the main highway in the pre-dawn darkness they were stopped by either MPs or an armed military patrol of some sort before they got very far. They were then placed, not under actual military arrest per se' but more or less in a quasi-holding pattern in an effort to maintain some sense of congeniality beween the MPs and the two civilian firefighting and law enforcement agencies. The military authorities at that time, and especially so the outlying guards, not fully aware of what the status of the situation is, or even perhaps, if the fire crew might eventually be needed or not."
As to the archaeologists, Holden and his students didn't use formal roads, roadblocks or not, they stumbled onto the crash site hiking in over the mountains from their overnight campout. They were then escorted back out of the area over the same route they came in on. Neither the fire crew or Holden's students were aware of each other. Again, see THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated for clarification.
The other archaeologist, William Lawrence Campbell, also known as Cactus Jack, was known to tell a tale of being "out there when the spaceship came down" and seeing a "round object but not real big" --- with the remarkable part being that he told the story LONG before ANYBODY had ever heard of Roswell. Seeing a "round object but not real big" sounds more like the archaeologist site than the debris field, although other than his own testimony, there are no reported witnesses to him being there. He did go to the fused glass site and the archaeologist site with La Paz two months after crash.
It should be noted, in that Dr. Lincoln La Paz plays such an important role in the main text above, that there is a whole cadre' of Roswell investigators and writers that take the view that La Paz played no role in any of the Roswell events nor was he even there. The highest profile witness in support of La Paz's role is usually dipicted as a U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps master sergeant named Lewis "Bill" Rickett. Rickett was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the CIC office at Roswell in 1947. Printy has a page, The joker and the Spaceship, about Rickett that is in contrast to the "pro La Paz was there advocates." In an effort to resolve the issue it is suggested you read:
ROSWELL 1947 AND DR. LINCOLN LA PAZ: WAS HE THERE?
The following is found in THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated:
"A scientist friend ofW. Curry Holden, not an anthropologist, but a vertebra paleontologist, by the name of C. Bertrand Schultz reports he saw the road blocks and military presence as he drove north from Roswell over the Fourth of July weekend. In December, 1947, Schultz presents at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association held December 28-31, in Albuquerque. Holden attends the conference. Coincidently, the bio-searcher, discussed below, hoping to hear Ruth F. Kirk present Aspects of Peyotism Among the Navajo, just happens to attend the same conference as well. Knowing Holden the three meet up. Some reports have Schultz going FROM Nebraska TO Roswell in July, 1947, rather than the other way, but in conversation with Holden at the conference he brings up the fact that he had tried to meet with him in the field over the Fourth of July holiday earlier that year. He had been told that Holden was going to be at the Bonnell Site over the long weekend. Since he was on his way TO Nebraska and had the time, although it was out of the way, thought he would go through Ruidoso to see what he, Holden, was up to. There he was told Holden had taken a group of students on a field study near Roswell. Unable to find Holden he continues on to a site called the Arrowhead Ruin, an Indian pueblo dating from circa 1370 to 1450 located south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, between Glorietta and Pecos, then being worked by another colleague, William Pearce. He sees the military cordon on the western side of the highway as he heads north out of Roswell. Since his eventual destination is Nebraska, although he grows more curious as he continues northward he isn't excessively over concerned about roads being blocked toward the west one way or the other. At the most, at the time, not knowing of the Roswell Incident, he attributes the military presence to no more than an exercise of some type. Only in retrospect did any of it take on any meaning for Schultz. Did Holden reveal the nature of what he saw to Schultz during their meeting at the conference? Conjecture would indicate the answer is yes in that it was Schultz that brought Holden to the public's attention initially."
It has never my intent to go over every minor detail or subtle nuance in these footnotes, and quite frankly, for the most part, like you may be, I get a bit tired of it. But, for some reason people are constantly parsing my every word. How could your uncle put you into such a harsh environment for day after day, how could you survive, where did you take a bath? Over and over they pooh-pooh the idea when I say "With that we started walking," the inference being that in the full heat of the day in the middle of July we would not have been able to get very far in the semi-rolling terrain and desert-like surroundings of the debris field. With that I cite the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada during the summer. It is not unusual to see thousands upon thousands of tourists in 107 degree heat in the middle of the summer walking shoulder-deep up and down the sidewalks on both sides of the strip in front of the casinos all day long for miles, so it is not like it can't be done.
We had been on the road camping out for over a month, so for me anything we did was just one more day. Besides, for my uncle the desert was not a hostile place. He could read the wind, smell changes, find water when there was no water, find food when there was no food. He used the heat to cool himself and and cold to warm himself. However, at one with the Earth or not and summer heat notwithstanding, unlike the outcome of the rather harsh situation that occured between the Counter Intelligence Officer Master Sergeant Lewis "Bill" Rickett and the two of us at the fused glass site (see), we had a little outside assistance.
On the first day riding in the jeep, but before we arrived at what I have been calling the hay shelter, the driver took us on a long unmarked circuitous route, I would guess, to avoid being detected. A mile or two from where we were eventually left off he stopped and pointed out some landmark or some such thing off in the distance to my uncle, of which they discussed back and forth for a couple of minutes before we continued on.
The morning my uncle decided to leave and we departed the hay shelter and debris field for good we followed the barely discernible jeep tracks back in the same direction we came in on until we arrived at or near the point the driver had stopped on that first day. Then, leaving the tracks, we cut across the desert to the spot the driver had pointed out. After a little searching my uncle found what he was looking for, a World War II type military motorcycle, olive drab and all, carefully stashed and hidden away in the scrubbrush. From who or how it got there I never found out, but with a little fiddling with knobs and gas filter bowls and stuff, after a number of rather hard kick-starts the motor came to life. With me holding on for dear life sitting behind my uncle on what was left of the seat, sometimes with almost as much of me hanging out over the rear fender, off we went.
All in all we walked two, maybe three miles. After getting on the motorcycle we might have gone eight or ten miles basically headed north across the desert --- although it felt more like a hundred. After a bunch of dry washes, a ton of up and down low-lying gullys and missing only a few rocks and plants, we came across a fairly decent all-weather road that went east and west. We stopped for a few minutes to stand up, work out the kinks and brush ourselves off as my uncle looked up and down the road to get his bearings. Then, turning right we headed east. In a short distance we came across what was left of an adobe structure and the remains of a few wooden ones that I guess was a onetime community or town. There we found our truck. Abandoning the motorcycle for the truck we continued east coming in behind some armed military personnel where the road connected onto a main highway. Whoever stashed the truck near the adobe ruin had taken off both of the license plates and wired or taped them flat up against the bottom underside of the pick-up bed. Without the blatent aspect of having out of state plates or not noticing if we even had any, the soldiers, apparently thinking we were ranchers or something, after a minor visual search of the cab and a quick glance in the truck bed, simply waved us on and went back to playing cards in the shade of their jeep. That was it.(see)
As to the harshness of the desert, I sure don't want to play down or make light of the fact that it can be a hostile place --- especially with semi-flippant references to tourists, 107 degree heat, and the Las Vegas Strip.
My uncle and his desert survival instincts were learned and honed over many years and guided in most situations under and by the direct hand of indigenous peoples intimately connected with centuries of the ins and outs of the desert southwest. I have, on two occasions, both times as a very young boy, found myself in the desert wandering and lost on my own without any long term back up or survival equipment, even down to not having or carrying a basic water supply. Each time I was found before the harshness of the desert impacted me adversely and in neither case, prior to being found, for whatever reason, had the desert wreaked it's havoc on me. The first of those lost in the desert episodes can be found by clicking HERE, the second by clicking HERE.
My uncle knew and was friends with Louis L'Amour, the author of over 100 cowboy and western novels. Most of what L'Amour writes is based on real life experiences. Somewhere along the way he found himself in dire straights lost in the desert and nearly dying of thirst. From that experience he wrote the novel Mojave Crossing in which the main character finds himself in a similar harsh situation, that is, dying of thirst, being beaten down by the wind and heat. For those of you who may be interested in how being without water and in the heat of the desert for days can impact you, although Mojave Crossing is a novel and thus then, fiction, it is well worth reading --- especially since L'Amour draws on his own experiences under similar circumstances. See:
1946 INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER PICK-UP TRUCK SIMILAR TO THE ONE MY STEPMOTHER BOUGHT
BRAND NEW FOR MY UNCLE AND ME TO EXPLORE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE DESERT SOUTHWEST
'46 I-H lovingly restored by William Brauch
Not long after my uncle started overseeing me under the auspices of my stepmother than he and I, often with my dad and brothers along, at least in the early days, began to go down to the giant Palley's Surplus Store off Alameda Street and Vernon in Los Angeles. For my brothers and me the place was like Disneyland, sometimes we would spend the whole day there because the place had everything --- big things like half tracks and bomber machinegun turrets to little things like GI issued lensatic compasses and packets of fluorescent green sea dye markers. My brothers and I, in what was one of the few things we ever did together, were always cooking up some kind of an excuse go there with me always returning with a ton of World War II army surplus stuff --- canteens, pistol belts, parkas, infantry backpacks, army M43 folding shovels, and two of my very favorites, an Army Signal Corps J-38 Handkey with a leg-band for sending Morse code and an ESM/1 Emergency Signaling Mirror.
In the above main text my uncle asked me to get a couple of canteens, one of which I say was on a WW II pistol belt I always wore when we were in the field. Along with the canteen I had a couple of "Carlisle" first aid pouches hooked to the pistol belt as well. Considering the timing of the event, July of 1947, more than likely the pistol belt, canteens and the first aid pouches all came from Palley's. Re the following:
"Traveling in the desert I carried a World War II pistol belt with a G.I. canteen always filled with water, and along with the canteen, a pouch hooked to the pistol belt. I had a couple of those 'Carlisle' first aid pouches and I used to carry all kinds of stuff in them. Stainless steel pocket knife with a fold-out fork and spoon. Compass. Waterproof matches. Always in the pouch as well was one of my most prized possessions, a pocket-sized sun dial gizmo called a Little Orphan Annie Miracle Compass Sun-Watch, a one-time radio-premium offer given me by the grandfather of the girl who used to babysit me when I was even a littler kid."
The Roswell Ray Gun
When my dad and stepmother went to South America for a couple of years and our de facto family broke up, with my uncle going back to Santa Fe and my younger brother and I going to a foster couple most of my army gear got lost in the shuffle and going to Palley's, for the couple, at least as far as me and my little brother was concerned, was out of the picture.
As a kid it seems like a large portion of almost everything I learned came from reading comic books. Over and over, even today in the stuff I write I often refer back to something I read at one time or the other in a comic book, that is, except maybe for one major time when there was not just comic books involved, but the coming together of both comic books and Saturday afternoon matinee movies of the day. That time I flew well over two-stories high in a Da Vinci-like flying machine I built myself as described in Tarzan and the Huntress.
Below you will find an ad from a comic book that just happened to start showing up for the first time around August 1949, about a year after the above aforementioned flight and the exact time my family was breaking up or on the verge of breaking up. On top of that, with the prospect of me not having the unfettered cash resources that had been provided me so freely in the past, before I moved in with the new foster couple my stepmother arranged for me to get a job at a place not far from where the couple lived where she knew the owner, a place called the Normandie Club --- so I could pick up some extra money. With that money and the comic book ads like the one below I was never without all the Army surplus stuff I wanted.
Besides comic books I was also big on box top and the like offers, such as Ovaltine's Captain Midnight's Radio Premiums, especially Captain Midnight's Code-O-Graphs, and more specifically so the 1942-1945 Photo-Matic. So, for me as I viewed it, comic book ads were a quick jump, falling into a similar or like category. Matter of fact the first comic book ad I ever answered was for me to become a Junior Air Raid Warden, of which the ad appears just below the Army surplus ad. I don't think I was even in kindergarten when I sent for the Air Raid Warden kit. Please notice the two smaller versions of the surplus ad below the Air Raid Warden ad, although similar to the color ad above, both offer signaling mirrors for 35 cents. Signaling mirrors played a prominent role between Dr. Lincoln La Paz and my uncle, as found in the La Paz link in the above main text, regarding a pre-Roswell UFO encounter. Remember too, from the main text, every time I went to Palley's I always came back with a bunch of World War II army surplus stuff like canteens, pistol belts, parkas, infantry backpacks and Army M43 folding shovels. The comic book mail order made it a lot easier. Notice as well, in those days a kid could order knives, machetes, and axes if one was so predisposed. My dad actually bought a brand new, or at least never used, World War II jeep right off the docks in San Francisco by responding to a similar ad. The jeep, along with hundreds of others, were piled up on the docks just about to be shipped off to the South Pacific when the war ended. The government was selling them off as fast as they could, first come first served for $225.00 bucks.(see)
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"My stepmother, who you may recall was quite wealthy, in her new found motherhood role, noticed my younger brother and myself, along with a bunch of other neighborhood kids, spent an inordinate amount of time 'playing cowboys' --- with cowboy hats, capguns, holsters, boots, etc., and in doing so we often ended up in the street. Using her logic, she thought, what could be better than having their own real ranch to play on, especially so, not in the street."
THE WANDERLING AND HIS UNCLE: Their Life and Times Together
The ranch was located in the high desert of the Mojave, encompassing a whole section of land in size, that is, one square mile, with ten acres set aside on one corner for the ranch house, barn, and horse corrals. No sooner had my stepmother bought the ranch than my brothers and I moved there, doing all kinds of ranch stuff like ride horses and shoot guns, of which the ranch house had a number of --- some on the wall and above the doors such as a lever action 30-30 Winchester, a shotgun or two, a couple of .22 rifles, and a very rare antique 1847 black powder percussion revolver called a Colt Walker which was usually kept in a case. Every once in a while I would take the 4.5 pound Colt out of the case and run around playing cowboys with it, sometimes even mixing genres by wielding the colt in one hand and a Buck Rogers Disintegrator in the other. In that the Colt was a black powder revolver and since nobody knew how to load it and everybody was afraid to, it was never loaded. In my later teenage years the Colt was sent to a gunsmith for some reason or the other and while there the gunsmith let me fire three rounds through it.
No sooner had we moved onto the ranch than my dad started to look around at tractors and such. Instead he decided on a four wheel drive World War II jeep to tool around in. Even though none of us kids were old enough to drive legitimately on any of the paved roads around or near the ranch, on the dirt roads and the scrub bursh desert lands surrounding the ranch, as well as on the ranch itself, we drove all over the place.
My dad actually bought the Jeep after answering an ad similar to the one below. The ad offered surplus Jeeps for $278.00. After looking into it he discovered he could actually purchase a brand new, or at least never used, World War II Jeep for $225.00 cash right off the docks in San Francisco, which in reality turned out to be not docks in San Francisco, but across the bay in the naval ship yards at Vallejo or Alameda.
I still remember as a boy showing up with my dad and brothers. The whole place turned out to be a huge labyrinth of buildings, cranes, railroad tracks, and narrow between the structures roadways. On the docks were literally hundreds and hundreds of jeeps lined up row after row along with all kinds of other military hardware and equipment. The jeeps themselves had been taken right off the factory assembly line to the docks months before for transshipment to the South Pacific just as the war ended and when I was there with my dad as a kid, all of them were still just sitting there gathering dust and getting flat tires.
Other than learning a new word and having it added to my vocabulary, i.e., cosmoline, except for one thing, I don't recall anything specifically about the logistics of how or what my dad had to do to get the jeep, how long it took, how much paperwork he had to shuffle, or how the jeep was prepared so we could drive it home, only that it was and we did --- drive it home, that is. The one thing I remember is that the man who sold my dad the jeep told him he couldn't pick it up until the next day because of some longshoreman rule. The thing is, my dad brought two longshoremen with him and the man who sold my dad the jeep gave it to him. The two longshoremen were provided by a longtime old friend of my stepmother named Johnny Roselli.
During the heat of the summer my dad didn't want to drive down California's central valley on Highway 99 or cross over the Sierras to use the 395, although once to either highway it would have been the most direct to the ranch. Instead he chose to drive down the California coastline on Highway 1 --- and what a trip it was no matter what highway we would have used. A jeep, no top, my dad and three kids, no real back seats and all before seat belt days. At first the jeep wouldn't go over 45 miles an hour. When we stopped for gas for the first time and with my dad complaining, the attendant, who had been in the Army and knew about jeeps said it was because of a "governor," a device or some such thing the Army put on vehicles to ensure they weren't driven too fast. The attendant took a screwdriver, fiddled with a few things, and the next thing we knew the jeep could do over 60! A couple of days later after camping along the way we were back at the ranch.
Living on the ranch in the high desert of the Mojave in those days were heady times. With the war finally over almost everything was doing nothing but going upward. All kinds of things were happening, especially in the aircraft and automotive fields and happening in the desert besides. The ranch was located not far from Muroc Dry Lake the same place Edwards Air Force Base was located. So too, the ranch wasn't far from Mirage Dry Lake either. On the ground at Mirage were nothing but numberless hot rods and belly tank lakesters. My uncle would take us out there to watch some of the hopped-up Ford flatheads hitting 150 mph. In the air, flying right over the ranch, were B-36s and flying wings. Higher up they were testing the Bell X-1 and breaking the sound barrier.
For us, we went from a bunch of kids tooling around the ranch to chasing locomotives out across the raw desert land at 90 miles per hour all the while watching B-36s and flying wings and hearing and sometimes feeling the sonic booms from the X-1.
WORLD WAR II SURPLUS JEEPS
NEW, STILL IN A BOX FOR $50.00
JEEP IN A BOX
"The ad offered surplus jeeps for $278.00. There were literally hundreds of scams around right after the war saying you could buy surplus jeeps from $50.00 and up and that's what most of them were, scams. After looking into it my dad discovered he could actually purchase a brand new, or at least never used, World War II Jeep for $225.00 cash right off the docks in San Francisco, which in reality turned out to be not docks in San Francisco, but across the bay in the naval ship yards at Vallejo or Alameda."
THE YOUNG BOY AND HIS JEEP: ADVENTURES IN THE DESERT
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