In Roswell lore, in history, fact or fiction, there are big fish and little fish. Some players are small and peripheral to the incident, others major. Some authors and recorders of various events thereof have elevated otherwise non-players to much higher status than belies their relative postions to those events. Some of those same authors and recorders have done the same with themselves. The major players or controllers of the history don't like to be left out or caught off guard, say like for example as was done to them by Lieutenant Colonel Philip J. Corso in his 1997 book The Day After Roswell. By the time Corso's book came out all the major history and witnessess was thought to have been either accounted for and/or interviewed by "those in the know." Then out of the blue, Corso. Of course, those who make their living shredding every little bit and piece didn't waste time tearing his work apart.(see)
A relatively unknown event that pre-dated the Roswell incident by two years, the so-called 1945 San Antonio UFO crash encounter, wherein an airborne object of an unknown origin slammed into the hills almost due west of Roswell near the small New Mexico community of San Antonio, really upsets all the main heavyweight Roswell authors. But what can I say, it happened and sad to say they missed the boat.(see)
The thing is, as for Roswell, there are no real actual eyeball-on eye witnessess to the incident anyway. That is to say, nobody was standing out in the field underneath the thing that night and actually see the object coming apart shedding pieces and junk all over themselves and the Foster ranch. Same with the remaining heavier object that slammed into the Capitan Mountains seconds later. Nobody actually saw it crash through the trees and plow across the gravel and rock ground-cover, with it's forward momentum only to be brought to a total standstill instantly by the more resistant boulders.
But, does the lack of on-the-spot specific eyewitnessess to the event negate it from it having happened?
Say for example that a man enters an apartment complex around 11:30 at night and goes into the apartment of a woman, invited or not. Around midnight the two of them get into an argument and he pulls out a gun and shoots her three times. He sticks her body in a large wheeled travel suitcase and a few minutes later he departs the complex pulling the suitcase behind him. Other than the killer there were no actual eyewitnessess to the murder.
The next morning a friend who was to join her for breakfast finds blood all over the apartment and the woman missing. The friend calls the police. The police seal off the apartment as a crime scene. Hearing about the missing woman and blood all over a number of people come forward. A woman across the way was sitting on her balcony around midnight and saw three flashes from one of the windows she thought was the flickering of a TV set. Another person heard several loud bangs he attributed to a car backfiring. A third person said he saw a man enter the complex just before midnight and exit a short time later pulling something, possibly a suitcase, that looked like it might have been heavy. The witness crossed his living room to a window overlooking the street and saw the man get into a black car parked along the curb and drive off --- although he never saw what the man did with the suitcase. A police officer, while on routine patrol remembered seeing a black BMW parked fairly close to a fireplug out in front of the apartments that night. On the way back, thinking he would cite the car, found it was gone. He noted the time as 12:30 AM. Someone tells the officers the woman had a boyfriend and in general chit-chat the woman had told him her boyfriend was a runner. Investigators on the scene had found a couple of shoe prints tracked on the floor from the woman's blood and that the print matched the sole of a high-end running shoe. They track down the boyfriend and learn that he drives a black BMW, but, after a search of his apartment and car, they find no sign of that particular type of running shoe nor a gun, suitcase, or body. However, a more indepth search shows he owned a gun --- and of the same caliber that killed the woman. They also find a receipt that shows he had, at one time, bought a similar pair of shoes that made the print at the crime scene. A friend of the woman, who had traveled with her to Europe, said she owned a large wheeled travel suitcase. A search of the apartment reveals no such item. I could go on and on, but by now you should get where I'm going to here relative to the events at Roswell.
Following the night that whatever it was came down, there began showing up a smattering of reports, unknown at the time that they were connected to any given or specific event. For example, some distance away White Sands radar began tracking an airborne object moving at a fairly highspeed and exhibiting "unusual behavior," only to have it go off-screen. THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated follows up with:
"The military, needing only to decipher the incident from the tracking of a single radar site, confirms the most recent data received, then simply by using the last azimuth and the slant range from the radar readings, they immediately think they have determined the exact location and place of the downed craft. Because the object exhibited an ultra high speed and unusual maneuvering, and not being sure what it means, the military moves in with a carefully selected team for investigation and/or possible recovery of the downed craft. However, because the full sweep of the radar was blocked partially by a portion of the mountains, giving an incomplete reading, the recovery team accompanied by armed soldiers are slowed locating the site."
That same night my Uncle and I just happened to be camping-out over a hundred miles to the north and east from White Sands near Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The following, regarding same, is from Frank Edwards:
"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."
AS A KID I ALWAYS PICTURED THE ROSWELL OBJECT LOOKING
LIKE FLASH GORDON'S ROCKETSHIP DISSIPATING A STRING OF
QUICKLY- EXTINGUISHING GLOWING PARTICLES IN- IT'S- WAKE.
William Lawrence Campbell, known as Cactus Jack, was apparently out in the flatlands that same night as well, some distance south and west of where my uncle and I were camped. Judging from Campbell's version of the event he must have been located somewhere between what would become known as the debris field north of him and the much closer Capitan Mountains to south of him where the heavier object eventually came to rest. That is why he is on record for saying he was "out there when the spaceship came down" and seeing a "round object but not real big." Even though the "round object" may have gone almost directly over his head at a pretty good clip and at a fairly low altitude, he is, interestingly enough, unlike my uncle, NOT on record as saying he saw it shedding any parts or pieces, glowing or otherwise. I can only guess by then the object was done doing so.
There were several other people that reported sightings that night such as William Curry Holden, on a field trip with students in the Capitan Mountains, saw an object streak across the sky they thought was a plane and presumably crash in the hills just beyond them. Then there was the Roswell couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot, who, sitting on the front porch of their observed a large circular object "like two inverted saucers faced mouth to mouth" cross over the night sky at a high rate of speed, as well as two Catholic nuns changing shifts in the middle of the night at Saint Mary's Hospital in Roswell who reported seeing nearly the samething as the Wilmots.
BY THE TIME THE OBJECT- CROSSED THE SKY NEAR ROSWELL
IT HAD SINCE CEASED DISSIPATING ANY GLOWING PARTICLES
We could go on and on, but like the murder case above, you must be getting the point by now. Nobody actually saw the object crash. Witnessess all came forward with bits and pieces of information later, and sometimes much later, after news of the crash itself became known. Over time those bits and pieces were put together like a jigsaw puzzle to form a more-or-less comprehensible, but not always fully acceptable, picture.
A mostly minor player that was brought forward sometime later in the overall scheme of things was a young man by the name of Tommy Tyree. In Roswell lore Tyree is usually associated with four aspects of the incident, each one bigger than the other, but none of them taken together or separately ranking very high up as being definitively earth-shaking. For one he shows up briefly in a comment by Roswell investigator and author Kevin Randle that goes something like, "Tommy Tyree told us that during the Second World War an aircraft had crashed in the area and the teenagers from Corona knew where it had happened though the military had wanted to keep the site a secret." There is a second brief mention of Tyree that shows up a lot --- but, for some reason, without much needed follow through. It seems that as late as August of 1947, one month after the crash and long after all of the various military contingents left, Tyree and Brazel noticed a piece of wreckage in the water at the bottom of a sinkhole and that neither tried to retrieve it. Third, is his confirmation of the size, and to later investigators, the location of the debris field. And fourth, the following below, that shows up over and over in a variety of forms, presentations, and formats, AND the number one reason Tyree is most noted for:
"Tommy Tyree, a ranch-hand that worked on and off for Brazel AFTER the crash, is on record as saying that Brazel complained to him regularly over and over --- and to others as well it has been reported --- how the day he found the material scattered all over the ranch he had been forced to circle his sheep a mile or more around the area to water because they refused to cross the debris field. It doesn't make sense, nor is it likely given the average temperature in Corona is 87 degrees and rising in June, that Brazel would leave material scattered all over his ranch from mid-June to early July that frightened his fully wool-covered sheep so much they wouldn't even go to water on their own, but had to be physically driven just to get a drink. Not only would he be highly remiss in his duties, he would also be putting his livelihood as well as the sheep's lives in danger."(source)
I met Tyree twice. Once before the crash, once after the crash. The first time I met Tyree my uncle and I were on our way to Fort Sumner to see Billy the Kid's gravesite. We stopped in Corona to get some water for the truck as it had overheated because of a broken or loose fanbelt. While waiting for the truck to cool down, with some time to spare, we sat in the shade drinking a couple of iced cold sodas. In the process, with the hood up and man and boy possibly stranded, a number of locals stopped by to see if everything was OK. My uncle, knowing a few people in the general Corona area dropped a few names and before you knew it, everybody was the best of friends. In a friendly general conversation sort of way they asked where we were headed and how the trip was going. My uncle told them we had visited Elden Pueblo where a rare meteorite had been buried by prehistoric Native Americans in a ritual style then to Meteor Crater and were now on our way to Fort Sumner to see Billy the Kid's gravesite.
Most of the people we talked to that day were what I would call adults. However, in those days, anybody twice my age at 19 or 20 years old was "old" or a "grown up," although to adults, say my uncle's age at the time, it wasn't unusual for 20 year olds to still be cast in a "kid" catagory --- especially in conversations being carried out between older adults. Mostly because of that, a young man who was, as I look back now, in his late teens or possibly maybe 20, turned his attention in conversation to me. He told me that in a couple of weeks he was going to go to work on a nearby ranch. He also told me, connecting the story to Billy the Kid --- in that I was on my way to visit the Kid's gravesite --- that Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid in 1881 was shot and killed in 1908 by the uncle of the ranch forman who hired him. The ranch forman, actually a lease holder, was William W. Mac Mack Brazel, the man that first discovered the material spread all over the Foster ranch he leased, that would become, in later years, famous in Roswell lore as the debris field. The man who killed Garrett, Jesse Wayne Brazel, was the brother of Mac Brazel's father. The young man who told the Billy the Kid story was Tommy Tyree, although at the time I didn't know such was the case. I only learned who he was days later when the two of us met for a second time on a hill above the debris field.
Within days of Brazel's discovery, but before any military presence had the wherewithal to seal off the area to outsiders, my uncle, with me tagging along, accessed the debris field --- as did apparently a number of other people. One of those people, although he isn't known for having done so, was Tommy Tyree.
Sometimes people seem a little setback when I claim that my uncle and I accessed the debris field within days of the crash. Most people familiar with Roswell lore have it in their mind that there was such a huge military presence all around the debris field watching every move, with cordons up and down the highways and every road into the area blocked by armed sentries everywhere, that to do so would be impossible. For example, that same weekend, according to ROSWELL ARCHAEOLOGISTS: The Dirt Before The Dig and similar sources, a friend of William Curry Holden, C. Bertrand Schultz, a vertebra paleontologist, tried to locate Holden after being told he was doing field work in the mountains west of Roswell. Schultz, not being able to find 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. A person I cite often, Roswell skeptic Timothy Printy, in his Popular Roswell Myths, refering to reputed cordons placed around the debris field, writes:
"(T)here seems to be not a whole lot of supporting witnesses that state that all exits off the major highway of US 285 north of Roswell were guarded. Some of these witnesses refer to only a few guards interfering with them getting to the debris field and do not mention the massive use of guards at all the exits. Still, many UFOlogists take the Schultz/Woody testimony to imply just that. This seems rather odd and one can only assume by this line of reasoning, that the "cordon" would have to extend in a 360 degree arc around the Foster Ranch in order to prevent people from getting to the site. If one looks at a map for this type of "cordon" one can see great difficulties. One must assume the military would seal off all exits of major highways leading to the Foster ranch. This includes the north, south, and western approaches as well as the east. There are a total of at least 12 major exits off of the highways but there are many more minor exits and side roads (On 285 alone, there are roughly a dozen such exits)."(source)
Regardless of what Schultz or anybody else saw or didn't see, or if there was a ton of cordons or none at all, my uncle and me accessing the debris field within a short time right after the crash was not without precedent. Author and UFOlogist Thomas J. Carey, in his book Witness to Roswell (2004) cites by name any number of individuals that physically accessed the debris field one way or the other right after the crash, usually crossing over wideopen and unpatrolled rangeland, from close-by ranches --- fully unimpeded by security supposedly blocking roads into the area from the east. Carey's list, all of them locals, included the son of a 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.
The morning I met Tyree, my uncle, leaving me in our secure spot at the hay shelter, departed before dawn to be on the debris field at sunrise and did not return until ten or so. Sometime before his return, needing to dump, I walked some distance down the hill from where we had been concealing ourselves to an outgrowth area of taller underbrush and did my business. Just as I was about to go back I heard a slow moving vehicle grinding away transversely across the hill toward where I was. I layed flat in the brush as an Army 3/4 ton truck passed between me and the area where my uncle and I had been holing up. I heard a noise in the bushes and just as I was about to turn around someone pushed me back down from behind and put their hand over my mouth. It was Tyree. Then I saw why. Coming up some distance behind the truck and following in it's tracks were four armed soldiers on foot, basically just bullshitting and route-stepping their way along the hill. Had I stood up or walked out of the underbrush I would have run right into them. He had hobbled his horse some distance back in some wadi and was on his way to meet a couple of buddies hoping to scope out the debris field when, like me, he heard the vehicle. It was just by coincidence he stumbled across me. We stayed there for awhile, until we felt it was safe. I thanked him for saving my life, we shook hands, he told me his name was Tommy Tyree, then we went our separate ways, never to see each other again.
A few paragraphs back I mention the four main things Tyree is known for relative to the Roswell incident. The one most cited is the one about him reporting that Brazel needed to drive his sheep around the debris field to get to water because, as according to Tyree, the sheep would not cross the area. Interesting enough, two of the lesser things about Tyree and Roswell are interelated or interconnected to each other in a bigger, more macabre sort of way. The plane crash in 1941 near Corona he talks about actually went down near the now-not-there onetime community of Lon. Lon was abondoned in the 40s and all that remains now of a onetime general store, a two-room school house, and a few other buildings that existed in 1943 is just the barely discernable outline of the adobe walls of the school house.(see) Near where Lon used to be is a crudely made headstone put up by a woman that lived in the area at the time of the plane crash. The headstone reads "5 U.S. Boys," refering to the five crew members on the doomed flight. Her grandson writes:
"A army training flight crashed on my grandparents ranch near Lon, NM in 1941 killing all five on board. The army quickly cleaned the area but missed many body parts. My grandparents, along with their kids and grandkids, collected the remaining body parts"(source)
The second of the lesser things Tyree is known about, that I mentioned above, is that in August of 1947, one month after the crash and long after the military folk left, Tyree and Brazel spotted a piece of wreckage in the water at the bottom of a sinkhole and that neither tried to retrieve it. Now, all you hear about is how the military scoured every square millimeter of the debris field picking up pieces of the alleged saucer. Although I am not in agreement with it, it has even been reported that houses were searched, floors torn up, and people intimidated by authorities searching for more pieces. Yet, here is a piece sitting in plain sight in a sinkhole a month after the crash, apparently overlooked --- that Tyree or Brazel wouldn't even get off their horses to retrieve. Six years before the military wasn't even able retrieve all the body parts of the crew of a downed aircraft, no wonder pieces of the Roswell object could still be found in a sinkhole one month later. What happened to that piece is unknown.
One more thing about the no longer existant town of Lon, New Mexico. If you have gone to the page on Frank Edwards you will find layed out in detail most of the scenario that led up to my uncle and me accessing the debris field. You will also find how it is we were able to leave the area without being detected or caught. That is where the town of Lon came in. Lon was abandoned in 1943 and any remains, for the most part, are long gone. However, in 1947, the year of the Roswell incident, Lon had been abandoned only a few years and many of the structures, except where they had been cannibalized, were still intact. It was there, in what little was left of the town of Lon that our truck was stashed.(see)
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