10 September 2020

NOT COMING IN FROM THE COLD

Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt. Foreword  by Joseph G. Buckman. Roswell. The Ultimate Cold Case. New Page Books. 2020.

This is an attempt to finally get to the true nature of the Roswell case by putting forward eyewitness testimony and to reveal how the authorities used fair means and foul to keep it secret. They start with putting forward what they think really happened at Roswell during  that fateful Summer of 1947, when flying saucers were the latest craze to sweep the USA and beyond.
đź”»It is their assertion that the morning after the stormy night of Wednesday July 02 over Lincoln County, New Mexico, rancher W.W. Mack Brazel discovered a huge field of wreckage. This consisted of sticks, paper and strange memory metal that could not be burnt or cut. Annoyed and puzzled by this debris Brazel took a box of it to Sheriff Wilcox’s office in Roswell on July 06, where he got passed on to the nearby Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF). This led to the famous ‘Flying Saucer Captured’ press release by RAAF public information officer Walter Haut, that within hours was explained as a weather balloon by General Ramey at Fort Worth Army Air Field.

General Ramey’s press conference killed the story until, like a vampire, it was resurrected in the late 1970s and since then its rotting corpse has dominated mainstream ufology.

Carey and Schmitt argue that the authorities quickly covered up the case with a firm hand. They collected all the debris from the crash site and from souvenir hunters who were warned of severe repercussions if they said anything. Civilians were as the authors dramatically put it ‘intimidated and threatened by authority proxies enlisted by the military to fulfil their most heinous bidding.’ In this process Mack Brazel was left a broken man.

They quickly dismiss the idea that the ‘flying saucer’ was a V2 rocket experiment, weather balloon, Japanese Fugo balloon, a prototype Flying Flapjack or Flying Wing aircraft, the collision of two flying discs or a stray atomic bomb. This leaves them with two options, that it was the debris of a secret Mogul high-altitude balloon that was deployed to listen out for Soviet atomic bomb testing or what they call a genuine flying saucer. Using the straightforward logic of Occam’s Razor they say the answer is obvious. For them it was a saucer that crashed - the debris was of the craft’s outer shell and protective coating, whilst further away there was a crashed inner capsule that contained four short, large headed aliens, one of whom was still alive. 

The authors bludgeon us with eyewitness testimony that fits in with their concept of what happened. They give us stories of people handling the wreckage, the military presence that guarded the two crash sites, the sightings of aliens and debris being transported  and the tactics used to keep the lid on the incident.

Great store is put on the number of witnesses and their bravery at breaking the muzzle of secrecy imposed on them from on high. Because nearly all the original witnesses have died off most of the testimony comes from unreliable second-hand family sources, or from so-called deathbed confessions.
There is not much analysis of their validity and even they confess that some people have constantly given them negative replies or ignored them completely. This only makes them stubbornly believe that the cover up is causing them to do this, rather than that they know nothing or have no truck with the silly UFO rumours and stories.


Worst of all the authors have the same single-minded contempt for human rights that they accuse the government displays to suppress the facts about Roswell. Take for example their pursuit of CIC Captain Sheridan Cavitt. His wife warned them he was sworn to secrecy, yet they cheerfully say that did not stop them from trying to get the facts they wanted to hear from him. Most shockingly when Cavitt was diagnosed with a terminal illness, ‘we discussed a plan with his  son Joe, an attorney, to get his father to write out a sealed statement that could be released posthumously.’ Every time Joe broached this with his father he said he was not ready, I like to think this was a polite translation of him telling them to fizz off.

The tactic of getting someone to write a sealed affidavit before they fell off their perch worked with RAAF information officer Walter Haut. This is quoted in full and affirms the authors’ view that there were two crash sites, and says he saw the egg-shaped craft from the second site in a hangar with two small alien bodies under a canvas tarpaulin nearby. Would two alien bodies of world-shattering importance be bunged unceremoniously under canvas sheeting? Even if they were, surely they could have done a better job of hiding them from prying eyes? We also have to consider he wrote this fifty years after the event and was more a case of what he came to believe about the event rather than being grounded in reality.

Supporting the idea that a  egg-shaped craft was recovered, on July 08 newspaper boys on Main Street, Roswell said they saw such a vehicle on a 18-wheel lowboy trailer in a military convoy going southwards towards the Roswell air base. Trundling this through the town in broad daylight is not a great way to keep something secret!

Another laughable piece of testimony comes from First Lieutenant Robert J. Shirkey, who says he saw Major Marcel with several ‘FBI types’ carrying a box of Roswell wreckage including a small I-beam that had hieroglyphic markings on it. Yes, that’s right they carried this in an open cardboard box in plain sight! I can only think they had no loose-fitting canvas sheeting available at the time...

There is a superfluous chapter listing and detailing celebrities, ufologists and VIPs who have taken an interest in Roswell. Star witnesses like astronaut Edgar Mitchell are wheeled out with such quotes as ‘Make no mistake, Roswell happened. I’ve seen the secret files’ other than saying that only a few insiders know the truth, and that the alien bodies are being studied, he does not elaborate. Surely if he saw ‘the secret files’ he would have more to say on the matter! It is noteworthy they do not use this quote from President Barack Obama who said in 2015, ‘I gotta tell you, it's a little disappointing. People always ask me about Roswell and the aliens and UFOs, and it turns out the stuff going on that's top secret isn't nearly as exciting as you expect. In this day and age, it's not as top secret as you'd think.’

The original press statement about the captured flying saucer was a major embarrassment and General Ramey’s presentation of weather balloon wreckage effectively deflated the story. Looking back we can see that there had been numerous ‘flying saucer’ sightings in the area and that it was a natural reaction in the context of the new flying saucer craze to report anything that had fallen from the sky as such an object. It seems likely that when it was realised this was the debris of a top secret Mogul balloon or a similar project they had to move swiftly to cover it up in the interests of national security. The obsessive probing of ufologists thirty years later re-constructed it as a flying saucer crash and the recovery of alien bodies.

Carey and Schmitt think the ‘flying saucer’ at Roswell was something ‘extraterrestrial and interdimensional’ and that the memory metal was possibly some form of propulsion system for it. The storm over-surged it and caused it to shatter into pieces over the Foster ranch.  Seems strange that lightning had such an effect on memory metal that could not be cut or burnt, or that the craft did not avoid disaster by slipping into another ‘interdimension.’

Given that Carey and Schmitt fully promoted the infamous Roswell Slide scandal in 2015 (not of course mentioned in this book) I should have thought they might have had the decency to hide their heads in shame and take up some more honest hobby. -- Nigel Watson

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