It is a well known fact that the so-called crash event at Roswell in July of 1947 has a very large and strong cadre of supporters and true believers. It is also pretty much a given that once you venture outside that ardent circle of followers, almost any story that purports the fact that it not only happened, but that the object was also extraterrestrial, automatically renders it into the Rodney Dangerfield of narratives. It gets no respect.
To interject respect into the story-line many authors and UFOlogists have spread around the names of a number of highly regarded archaeologists or scientist types that apparently became caught up in the story one way or the other --- even though, not one of them, no matter how you write it, rewrite it, or parse the words, were actually involved in any sort of a formal dig of any kind related to the Roswell event.
The name that projects the most distinction and carries the most weight is that of William Curry Holden, a one time professor at Texas Tech University, now deceased, who, in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s almost single handedly developed the university's combined History and Anthropology Department.
In a nutshell, traditional Roswell UFO lore has it that in the summer of 1947 Holden and a few students, taking advantage of the the long 4th of July weekend, were engaging in site activities somewhere west of Roswell along the lower slopes of the Capitan Mountains. After making camp that night they observed a large glowing object streak out of the sky and apparently crash not far from their location, albeit on the other side of the mountain. Because of the darkness and unfamiliarity with the terrain or trails they made the decision to locate and find out what it was the following morning. Sure that the object was not a meteor but an airplane, one of the students backtracked to the main road to find a phone. Sometime after midnight the student, after circling around toward the small town of Capitan, located a phone and called the Sheriff in Roswell to inform him that they witnessed a plane crash of some type. During that same period of time and unknown to Holden or his students, military personnel arrived and cordoned off access to the crash scene. When Holden and the students came onto the site the next morning the military escorted them out of the area, albeit after they had seen the object. Holden never really discussed the incident and it was well into his later years before he was actually even inteviewed on the subject.
The problem with the story, according to some is, it is wracked with more holes than a sieve. Roswell skeptic Timothy Printy in Chaprter 14 of his Roswell 4F: Fabrications, Fumbled Facts, and Fables titled Doctor Holden I Presume? writes:
"(W)hat was(Holden) doing near Roswell? Was there some project he was working on? Surely he must have written a paper about his trip/findings. In any case, he would have billed the University for expenses and there would be records of that. Randle and Schmitt could not find anything to confirm a trip to Roswell that weekend. Author Peter Brookesmith states that Dr Holden's diaries (which Randle and Schmitt did not mention) indicate that he was in Lubbock the whole time getting ready for the wedding and not doing any archeology work. Tom Carey, who did most of the research for Randle mentions in his article that Holden was teaching that June and July. According to Randle, Dr. Holden must have decided to stop teaching that Thursday afternoon and then proceeded to Roswell. There is no proof of this and it means he would have given up on a holiday weekend with his family and driven for 4 hours to an area he had no record of being in prior to this event! Holden then never bothers to confide in anyone, including his wife and daughter, concerning the events he supposedly witnessed."
Thomas J. Carey, a CUFOS (Citizens against UFO Secrecy) field investigator found some interesting info as well:
"His wife would not have been with him for such a short trip, especially since she was preparing for a wedding to take place the following week. Randle also found receipts for Holden's bank deposits. They also lend support to our conclusion that he was in Lubbock that summer and not off on an extended dig somewhere. The bank statements also show that Holden made a huge deposit of $4,834 to his account on July 15, 1947, which makes one wonder how he came by such a large sum compared to his other bank deposits. Just as interesting as what he found was what Randle didn't find. The archive included all of Holden's income tax records for all the years from the 1930s through the 1970s - except for one year, 1947! Income tax records can reveal much about a person's lifestyle, contacts and associates, and activities during the course of a year. The archivist thought it was odd that only one year was missing but could offer no explanation other than 'the family still controls what goes into and what comes out of the collection.'"
In none of the material I've read has anybody implied that Holden was on "an extended dig somewhere." In relation to Roswell it has always been a weekend field trip. In either case, Pritney is right, if he was on a field trip, extended or just a weekend, as a professor he should have written a paper about his trip/findings as well as billed the University for expenses. As Pritney says, there would be records of that. Nothing has come up that either was done. In a totally different vein, for Holden to have multiple thousands of dollars show up deposited in his account is another thing. Something of value must have changed hands. In that Holden was on the receiving end of the cash it appears he must have been the person giving or passing-on the whatever it was of value. Somebody else must have been a willing enough recipient of whatever it was Holden had of value to exchange money for it. But, what would Holden, as an archaeologist and a university professor, who are primarily purveyors of information, have of value that he would not simply pass on to others in his regular routine of archaeology and teaching goings-on like he did anyway?
The slight whiff of implication from the UFOlogists is that the money had something to do with keeping Holden quiet regarding Roswell. Thing is, except for reports that W.W. Mac Mack Brazel began sporting a new pick up truck around town after his debris field discovery, there is no proven tradition of payoffs to anybody to keep quiet. Threats, maybe. Money, no.
Pro-Roswell advocates, UFOlogists, and fellow like-minded authors, wearing blinders and driven by a single focus, smelled something alright, and overlayed their Roswell theories on top of the ground plan they turned up. The thing is, that ground plan had nothing to do with Roswell --- and that is why people like Printy and others have been able to punch so many holes in the Roswell archaeologist stories.
Some months before the alleged crash-down near Roswell, in a remote section of the desert southwest, bordering along the upper reaches of the northern mountains, an artifact of deep concern and value to certain segments of the long established indigenous population had been stumbled upon by a ragtag group of grave-robbers and, inturn, stolen from a heretofore unknown to outsiders sacred site. The artifact, although nondescript under almost any layperson's observation, was said to be a potential mind-changer in Native American lore if it surfaced among the general public.(see) Without the knowledge of the object having any major significance, it, along with most of the other spoils it was intermingled with, passed quickly from the hands of the looters into the hands of a more professional retailer of stolen relics. Shortly thereafter, interested parties, hearing some of the loot surfaced and wanting the return of the specific object without creating undue attention or raising suspicion as to the relic's value, sent a person posing as a spokesperson for a collector to negotiate with the retailer for possible purchase. A bottom-line figure of $20,000 was agreed upon. Nobody in the inner circle involved in the attempted procurement of the object had that sort of money available at their disposal, nor did they want to widen the circle to bring in less than concerned individuals not familiar with the import of the item. In a blind-trust, three high level individuals were approached by a trusted third party who cryptically explained the nature of the situation and the express need for cash. Each of the three individuals, not knowing of the others, gave $5000. Another $5000 was raised between members of the original concerned group for a total of $20,000. When the so-called spokesperson for the collector returned with the money the retailer said he had since received offers from two other interested parties and the price was now $40,000.
That's when things got dirty. Within two weeks the $5000 by each donor minus $200 each for a handler was given back. A month after that the retailer was found rotting at the bottom of a deep ravine in his car with his eyes poked out with sticks. The missing object was said to have been returned to it's original resting place without the needed exchange of any money, only to be sealed to the outside world forever. It is not clear if any members of the ragtag group of grave-robbers ever made it to the point they would be able to collect social security.
So, what happened? The following is found in Frank Edwards and, framed in context to our subject matter here, explains the lead up of my uncle's involvement and me being there right along with him:
"In 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 at the request of my father and my then-new-to-me 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."
Almost the exact instant it was discovered that the sacred site had been ransacked and the artifact removed than two Native American men from Arizona or New Mexico representing a larger group were dispatched to the studio of my Uncle in Los Angeles requesting his help in it's safe return. They needed a non-Indian, read: white-man, they knew and trusted, as well as being familiar with the existence of the object in question, to front for them. The only person in the world that could even remotely fit that bill was my uncle. After taking me to La Brea Tar Pits to see the skeleton of a Teratorn, a giant bird with an upwards of a 25-foot wingspan thought to be inspiration for Native American thunderbird legends, followed by a short discussion with my Stepmother on the importance of searching for teratorn fossils, all the while my stepmother and me being patently unaware that everything concocted by my uncle was being driven by much larger system of events, we packed our stuff and took off. Appearing in no rush my uncle and I stopped at several places that genuinely included the search for teratorn fossils. We may have even visited the location of the secret sacred site, although to my knowledge I didn't see it myself. A couple of times my uncle met up with a group of four or five Native Americans while I stayed with the truck or told to continued my fossil hunt. He also seemed to spend a lot of time talking on pay phones in the back of greasy spoon joints or gas stations along the way as well.
After we got to Fort Sumner my uncle told me he had to go to Roswell on a quick turn-around. Part way there we were flagged over by a man of Native American descent standing beside a pick up truck on the opposite side of the highway. The man crossed the road on foot to our side while my uncle told me to join the others with his truck. A young teenage girl, probably no more than age 14 with long black hair flowing behind her, ran part way across the road and grabbed my hand as the other truck just barely began to move forward in a U-turn. Following her lead I jumped onto the tailgate and crawled into bed of the pick up, of which already had a number kids in it. My uncle and the other man headed toward Roswell and we did too for a short while, eventually stopping at what looked like a beat-up onetime 1930s service station turned into a touristy Native American curio stop. The kids and I ran off to the back and played, with me always having one eye looking out for my uncle's return. All the time I was there, which was several long hours, not one person stopped by or visited the curio shop.
Eventually my uncle and the other man returned, both of them going quickly into a room in the back of the old gas station. The room had a large open window with no screen that overlooked the area where myself and the other kids had been playing all afternoon. Standing outside the window I watched as my uncle dumped a whole pile of money on the table, more money than I had ever seen in one place at any onetime in my life. A couple of men began stacking some of the bills in little piles as though they were counting them. My uncle motioned to me to meet him out front. A few minutes later we were on the road north back to Fort Sumner. That night, without even making a fire, we curled up in our sleeping bags on the desert floor under the stars. The next day after breaking camp close to daybreak and still without being remotely aware of the Roswell incident, as we were about to turn onto a main highway from some side road not far from Fort Sumner we were stopped by a military convoy. The following relates the events of that morning from the source so cited:
"The convoy itself was headed north or northeast and composed of several flatbed trucks carrying large crates, some covered with tarps some not, escorted by jeeps and followed in the rear by a huge tow truck. My uncle made his turn and eventually caught and passed the convoy, continuing on our trip without incident. However, the event was highly memorable for me as a nearly ten year old boy. The year before I had witnessed the Hughes flying boat being moved in a similar fashion and just the sight of all the army trucks trundling along out in the middle of the desert was exciting, but passing them, smelling the diesel, hearing all the noise, seeing all the wheels, and having the drivers salute or give a wave going by was unforgettable. The point is that the convoy we witnessed outside Fort Sumner and headed toward Kansas is almost an exact duplicate of the convoy as described by Lt. Col. Philip J. Corso in his 1997 book that he discovered at Fort Riley, Kansas on Sunday, July 6th apparently having arrived the day before."(source)
All well and good, but what does it have to do with archaeologists, William Curry Holden, or the crash at Roswell? If you recall from the above I write:
"(T)hree high level individuals were approached by a trusted third party who cryptically explained the nature of the situation and the express need for cash. Each of the three individuals, not knowing of the others, gave $5000. Another $5000 was raised between members of the original concerned group for a total of $20,000."
The "trusted third party" was my uncle. In or near Roswell he met with Holden, a man named Charles Bertrand Schultz, and a third man I never learned the name of. None of the three knew of each other's involvement, meeting individually at different locations at a specifically selected time somewhere in or around the larger general Roswell area. Roswell was selected because of it's proximity in the distance or travel time for the three. Fourth of July weekend was selected because it was a holiday weekend allowing sufficent unfettered free-time off and roundtrip travel for the people involved. The fact that a seemingly secret meeting between parties transpired on the same weekend as the incident at Roswell that put a bundle of money into Holden's bank account a few weeks later was pure coincidence.
Schultz is one of the "scientist types" that shows up regularly and typically tied to Holden because it is said it was Schultz that brought Holden to the attention of the various Roswell authors and UFOlogists in the first place. The interesting part of it all is that Schultz, on his own and without knowledge that like himself, Holden was secretly involved in the samething he was and the reason both were in the Roswell area, on a whim of his own, out of the blue, tried to contact Holden:
"(Schultz) had been told that Holden was going to be participating in field work over the long weekend west of Roswell and since he was on his way TO Nebraska and had the time, thought he would go through Ruidoso to see what Holden was up to. There he was told Holden had taken a group of students on a field study near Roswell. Unable to find him he continued on to a site called the Arrowhead Ruin, an Indian pueblo dating from circa 1370 to 1450 located south of Santa Fe, New Mexico."(source)
Again, refering back to Roswell skeptic Timothy Printy in Doctor Holden I Presume?" Printy writes:
"Schultz provides no evidence he was in Roswell on the critical dates to hear the stories of the archeologist Holden. In fact, Randle found out that he was in Nebraska on July 10 and there were no records to indicate he even was in Roswell the week before that! Even more difficult to understand is why Schultz would drive north of Roswell other than to go to and from Nebraska (assuming he even went to Roswell on "business")."
From the W. Curry Holden page previously cited:
"In December, 1947, a scientist friend of Holden's, not an anthropologist, but a vertebra paleontologist, by the name of C. Bertrand Schultz, a Professor of Geology and Paleontology at the University of Nebraska, presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association held December 28-31, in Albuquerque. Holden attended the conference as well, putting the two of them together within six months of the alledged crash. In conversation with Holden at the conference Schultz tells him he had tried to meet him over the Fourth of July holiday earlier that year."
I have stated elsewhere that I really like Printy's works. I quote what he has to say and refer back to them often in my works --- and for sure I like the way he pin-pricks the so-called facts allowing the deflation of evidence right before your eyes --- as he will no doubt be pin-pricking mine if he ever runs across it. However, as to his "Schultz provides no evidence he was in Roswell on the critical dates to hear the stories of the archeologist Holden," Schultz actually heard the stories six months later at the conference. The problem for me specifically falls into another area and has to do with something my uncle told ME himself, and that is that he overheard the conversation between the two personally:
"(The) bio-searcher that assisted famed astronomer and meteorite hunter Dr. Lincoln La Paz figure out the object's trajectory by studying the burnt and wilted plants along it's suspected path was at the same conference. He was attending in hopes of hearing his friend Ruth F. Kirk present 'Aspects of Peyotism Among the Navajo.' In that he and Holden knew each other and both had participated peripherally in Roswell events, he became privy to the content of the conversation between Holden and Schultz."
My uncle knew Holden and Schultz were both in Roswell that weekend because he arrranged it. What he didn't know until the conference was that Holden covered his tracks for being in Roswell by quickly setting up a student-level dig in the mountains west of town while Schultz, not knowing Holden was involved in the same secret dealings he was, innocently tried to meet with Holden when he learned he was in the area. To my uncle's knowledge neither ever learned of the other's involvement in the exchange for the artifact. Again, the fact that both got caught up in the situation at Roswell was pure coincidence.
Not one bit of any of this would have come to see the light of day if it had not been for a pre-pubescent budding of my boyhood libido and me mentioning the relationship of that aspect of it to my uncle years later. After the young teenage girl reached her hand out to me as I was crossing the road and pulled me into the back of the truck she brought the tailgate up and hooked a partially hose-covered chain into a couple of holes to hold it closed on her side. When I attempted to do the same on my side, the bouncing of the truck made it difficult for me to accomplish the task. She moved over and placed her hands on mine guiding the hook into the latches. In the process, as if touching my my hands was not enough, her face came so close to mine we nearly touched. I had never come so close to a girl's face before. I think if I would have blinked, my eyelashes would have brushed across her cheekbones. She scooted back to her side and sat leaning against the truck bed wall directly across from me pulling her knees up under her chin and crossing her arms around them with her hands on each of her elbows. She wore a long skirt, mid-calf in length or ending just above her ankles. The way she was sitting the skirt rose up from the truck bed and across her knees in a U shape turning back down toward the bed returning underneath her. In doing so her legs, held closely together from her barefeet on up, were completely exposed. When the truck stopped she turned to reach her arm over the railing of the truck bed and moved her feet apart to stand up. I clearly saw she had no underpants on and everything else about her. I fell in love that day for the first time.
When I told my uncle of the above, he just smiled. It was only then that he revealed how the weekend involved Holden, Schultz and a third unnamed man.(see) He only vaguely recalled a small phalanx of kids I ran off with that day. He had no clue about the girl I spoke of nor of her impact on me all those years.
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
LARRY CAMPBELL: Cactus Jack
ROSWELL UFO ARCHAEOLOGIST
UFO OVER L.A.
THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES
When my uncle was in his early 20s he was traveling with a number of Native Americans around his same age in a then remote part of northeastern New Mexico when he came across a young man age 15 or 16 wandering across the desert. That young man, in later years, turned out to be the author of over a 100 cowboy and western novels, Louis L'Amour.
In 1970 my uncle was in California to visit his ailing brother, my dad, and while in California visited L'Amour to catch up on the old days and discuss things new. In the process of that visit my uncle took me with him. During conversation, knowing L'Amour had been engaged at one time to Margaret Runyan, who eventually married Carlos Castaneda, and both my uncle and I knew Castaneda, I brought it up.
After that, a good portion of what was left of the afternoon either circulated around or drifted back to Castaneda. Until L'Amour was told by me and elaborated by my uncle when questioned, he had no clue, as so many others still have no clue to this day, that my uncle was the Informant that Castaneda and others write about so often as having been the original source for his introductions into the rituals and use of datura.
The most important part of the Castaneda discussion between L'Amour and my uncle was how it impacted L'Amour, or at the very least how it related to two of his major works. L'Amour wrote two books, one published in 1976 the other written in 1977 but not published until ten years later, that were seeped with a heavy mystic quality about them intertwined with Native American spiritual lore and magic. The books, The Californios and The Haunted Mesa, both relied heavily on consultation with my uncle and his indepth strengths in both areas, but most surely so in Native American spiritual lore. A lot of what L'Amour weaved through both stories, but especially so The Haunted Mesa which unfolded under the same spiritual blanket that covered my experience, was drawn from the kind of knowledge that my uncle was familiar with and that encompassed what happened to me as outlined in Incident at Supai. L'Amour writes in The Haunted Mesa:
"The Indians the white man met were no more original inhabitants of the country than the Normans and Saxons the original inhabitants of England. Other peoples had come and gone before, leaving only shadows upon the land. Yet some had gone into limbo leaving not only physical artifacts but spiritual ones as well. Often encroaching tribes borrowed from theose who proceded them, accepting their values as a way of maintaining harmony with the natural world.
"There were ancient mysteries, old gods, who retired into canyons to await new believers who would bring them to life once more.
"Who has walked the empty canyons of the lonely land above the timber and not felt himself watched? Watched by what ghosts from a nameless past? From out of what pit or horror and fear?
"The Indian had always known he was not alone. He knew there were others, things that observed. When a man looked quickly up, was it movement he saw or only his imagination?"
Although L'Amour's The Haunted Mesa is a novel, that is fiction, he extrapolated heavily from my uncle's insight and knowledge into just such areas as they related to the indigenous peoples of the desert southwest. L'Amour took the cryptic kernels of truth provided by my uncle --- who never truly revealed any deep secrets entrusted to him --- and created the novel around the kernels. By reading The Haunted Mesa you too, and especially so doubters, may be able to extrapolated those kernels of truth and how they apply to what I have presented in the main text above:
THE HAUNTED MESA
The original source for the quote so cited is found in ROSWELL INCIDENT: UPDATED. However, for more in-depth and additional follow-up regarding the convoy and any relation it had with the movement of debris from the Roswell impact site and possible whereabouts, please go to THE ROSWELL RAY GUN and visit the following Footnote by clicking HERE.
Although I have nothing to substantiate who the third man was, nor was I ever told who he was by my uncle that I recall, for some reason I have always had a gut feeling it was an artist friend of my uncle by the name of Peter Hurd. Hurd was born in Roswell and lived in San Patricio, New Mexico, fifty miles west of Roswell. He was, interestingly enough also a close friend of William Curry Holden. It was Hurd that initially directed Holden to a then unknown archaeological site (the Bonnell site) in the Hondo River Valley. It has been reported that in 1950 Holden put into place an archaeological field school in Roswell as an operational base to better supervise and coordinate the excavation of the Bonnell site.
"The Bonnell Site, located in Glencoe, is the largest Jornada Mogollon site in the Hondo Valley. There were four separate occupations of this site sometime between A.D. 1100–1200. The Bonnell Site includes four small trash mounds and 26 closely packed, square structures, which were typically set into shallow pits and had plastered floors and central hearths. Several of the structures had four large interior support posts, and two of the structures incorporated some stone in their walls, including both rough cobbles and upright slabs. Two of the structures were very large, and could have been used for community gatherings."(source)
Please notice that if Holden did in fact put into place an archaeological field school in Roswell it was in 1950, three years AFTER the Roswell incident, meaning if Holden was on official business in the Roswell area on a regular basis it was 1950 or later.
There is a slight chance, albeit a very slight chance, the third person might possibly have been Dr. Lincoln La Paz. The problem is the timing and the goings-on don't seem to match his profile or his whereabouts. Holden and Schultz showed up in Roswell on the 4th of July weekend per previous arrangements. Although La Paz and my uncle did meet up in the broader Roswell event area (i.e., somewhere near Fort Sumner) it wasn't until the 7th or 8th of July, and then it seems La Paz returned specifically from a vacation come-meteorite-hunt in Oklahoma while traveling with his family and not from having been requested to be there previously for the 4th of July weekend as with the case of Holden and Schultz. However, having an archaeologist, a vertebra paleontologist, and an astronomer --- or even a world-renowned western artist --- all on the same card at the sametime raises interesting questions as to what the nature of the Native American artifact may have been.
ROSWELL 1947 AND DR. LINCOLN LA PAZ: WAS HE THERE?