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Tuesday. July 1.1947
Radars in the Roswell, White Sands, and Alamogordo area track an object that seems to defy convention. Its speeds and maneuvers suggest that it is not a craft manufactured on Earth. Checks of the radar equipment reveal no malfunction that would account for the display
Wednesday. July 2.1947
At 9:50 P.M. Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot see an oval object, "like two inverted saucers faced mouth to mouth," passing over their house in Roswell, New Mexico. The object, moving at a high rate of speed, is heading northwest.
Thursday. July 3.1947
At the White Sands Proving Ground, an attempted launch of a V-2 rocket fails, never getting off the pad. Several people are injured in a spray of acid.
Steve MacKenzie is ordered to White Sands, where he spends nearly twenty-four hours watching the displays as the object flashes through the New Mexican skies.
Friday. July 4.1947
The first of the special flights from Washington arrives. On the plane is Warrant Officer Robert Thomas. Thomas and his companions are in uniform upon arrival, but quickly change to civilian clothes. Thomas wants an on-site briefing as soon as it could be arranged. These men remain at Roswell throughout the retrieval.
William Woody and his father watch a flaming object, white with a red trail, fall toward the ground north ofRoswell.
During a thunderstorm near Corona, New Mexico, W W. "Mac" Brazel hears a tremendous thunderclap that sounds like an explosion but is somehow different from the rest of the thunder. Others in the area report the same phenomenon.
At 11:27 PM. the radar sites continue to watch the object. It seems to pulsate a number of times, then explodes into a starburst. The belief is that the object has now crashed.
Jim Ragsdale and Trudy Truelove see a bright flash of light and hear a roaring sound that passes overhead. Ragsdale knows that something has struck the ground close to their campsite.
Saturday, July 5.1947
Jason Ridgway (name changed), a sheepherder in central New Mexico, finds the remains of a crashed saucer He spends little time on the site and refuses to tell anyone about it until many years later. Ridgway is a friend of Mac Brazel.
Archaeologists, including W. Curry Holden, working the sites around Roswell stumble across the impact site where the object has crashed. One of them heads to the closest phone to tell Sheriff George Wilcox of the discovery of the remains of a crashed aircraft of some kind.
Wilcox calls the local fire department to alert them about the crash. One truck, with Dan Dwyer on it, responds to the call. The site is about thirty-five miles north of Roswell.
The Roswell Fire Department, escorted by members of the Roswell Police Department, makes a run along Pine Lodge Road northwest ofRoswell. These are among the first civilians to stumble across the impact site.
At 5:30 A.M. the military knowing the approximate location of the saucer crash, move in with a carefully selected team for the recovery of the craft. The soldiers find civilians on the site already. They escort them off while others secure the area. Five bodies are found on the site. The site is cleaned and secured in six hours.
Following the rain the night before, Brazel inspects the pastures surrounding the ranch house. Riding with him is the young son of the Proctors, William D. Proctor. During the inspection, Brazel discovers a large debris field. Scattered on the slopes and into the sinkhole and depressions are metal, plasticlike beams, pieces of lightweight material, foil, and string. The debris is thick enough that the sheep refuse to cross the field and are driven around it to water more than a mile away.
Thomas and his crew move out to the impact site. The bodies, originally covered by sheets, are now in lead-lined body bags. Only those with the highest clearance are allowed close to the center of the impact. Guards are posted, facing out, to keep the curious away
John McBoyle, a reporter for radio station KSWS in Roswell, tries to reach the crash site. He phones to report an object looking like a crushed dishpan. He tells Lydia Sleppy, who works at the parent station in Albuquerque, to hang on. She overhears an argument and then McBoyle tells her to forget it, he has made a mistake. McBoyle is about forty miles north of Roswell.
Sleppy tries to put a message out on the Teletype. According to Sleppy, the message is intercepted by the FBI in Dallas and she is ordered not to complete the transmission.
Melvin F. Brown, who is on guard duty at the impact site, is warned to climb into the back of the truck. Although he has been ordered not to look under the tarp, the moment that everyone's back is turned, he does. He finds the bodies of the alien flight crew. They are small, with large heads and skin that is yellow or orange.
Glenn Dennis, the mortician working at the Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell, receives a call from the base mortuary offlcer, who asks him about small caskets.
In Roswell for a conference, C. Bertram Schultz, a vertebra paleontologist, drives north from the city on Highway 285. To the west he sees a number of guards along the highway. Schultz isn't interested in driving to the west, so he doesn't stop, nor is he bothered by the guards.
The Roswell base mortuary offlcer calls again. He asks Glen Dennis questions about what various chemicals would do to blood and tissue. He also wants to know the procedures for preparing a body that has lain out in the elements. Dennis suspects a fatal crash involving a VIP.
Glenn Dennis receives a call from downtown Roswell, where an airman had been injured. The funeral home where Dennis works also operates the ambulance service. Dennis drives the injured airman to the base, is waved through the gate, and stops at the rear of the hospital. Parked behind it, at the loading dock and in front of the emergency room, are three ambulances. In the rear Dennis sees small, canoelike devices and strange debris of some sort.
The bodies arrive at the base and are taken to the hospital for examination. Dr. Jesse Johnson pronounces them dead. Two doctors who are not assigned to the base but who have arrived on one of the special flights begin the preliminary autopsy.
Brazel, taking a few scraps of the material, heads to the home of his closest neighbors, Floyd and Loretta Proctor. He shows them "a little sliver" of material that he can neither burn nor cut. The Proctors suggest he take it into town to show the sheriff.
Inside the base hospital at Roswell, Dennis is confronted by two officers. A red haired captain tells Dennis that he has seen nothing and heard nothing; if he opens his mouth, they will be picking his bones out of the sand.
Military bases along the West Coast have fighters on standby in case the flying disks are seen. A few bases in Oregon and Washington have planes equipped with gun cameras on airborne alert.
Sherman Campbell of Circleville, Ohio, reports to the sheriff that he has what he thinks is an explanation for some of the flying disk sightings. He has found a weather balloon on his farm. It is metallic, with a kitelike appendage on it. The device is displayed at the local newspaper office and then returned to Campbell. Jean Campbell (Romero), Campbell's daughter, reports that it is kept in a barn for years afterward.
Later that evening, Brazel removes the large, circular piece of the debris from the range. Brazel either loads it into the back of his truck or drags it along behind. He stores it in a livestock shed about three miles nqrth of the crash site.
The bodies are sealed into a long crate, which is taken to a hangar. It is left there overnight with spotlights playing on it while MPs stand guard around it. They never approach it.
Melvin Brown, along with other soldiers, is ordered to stand guard outside the hanger. Brown's cornmanding officer approaches and says, "Come on, Brownie, let's have a look inside." But there is nothing to see because everything has been packed and crated, ready for shipment.
Sunday, July 6, 1947
Brazel gets up early, completes his chores, and then drives into Roswell, about seventy-five miles away He stops at the office of Sheriff George A. Wilcox. Contrary to published reports, Wilcox is excited about the find and suggests the military at the Roswell Army Air Field be notified.
At 11:30 A.M. Dennis finally locates his friend, the nurse, who agrees to meet him for lunch. He drives out to the base to meet her at the officers' club.
While waiting for the military officers to arrive, Wilcox dispatches two of his deputies to the ranch. They have only the directions given by Brazel, but both men are familiar with the territory; and Wilcox believes they will be able to find the debris field.
William Woody and his father try to drive out toward the area where they'd seen the object coming down, but the roads are blocked. The side roads off Highway 285, from Vaughn and to the west, are guarded by military police who allow no one to pass.
Frank Joyce, a reporter and announcer for radio station KGFL, calls the sheriff and asks if anything interesting is happening at the office. Wilcox refers him to Brazel.
Colonel William Blanchard, commanding officer of the 509th Bomb Group, orders Jesse A. Marcel, the air intelligence officer, to investigate. Marcel immediately drives to the sheriff's office. Marcel interviews Brazel, examines the pieces of the material that Brazel brought in, and decides he had better visit the ranch to examine the field for himself.
Marcel, taking some of the debris with him, returns to the base and reports to Blanchard what he has seen. Blanchard, convinced that he is in possession of something highly unusual, perhaps Soviet, alerts the next higher headquarters. No one mentions any type of balloon.
Marcel returns to the sheriff's office with the senior counterintelligence agent assigned to the base, Captain Sheridan Cavitt. They escort Brazel back to his ranch and examine the debris field.
Acting on orders from Major General Clements McMullen, deputy commander of the Strategic Air Command, Blanchard obtains, from the sheriff's office, more of the debris. It is sealed in a courier pouch and loaded on an airplane to be flown on to the Fort Worth Army Air Field, where it is given to Colonel Thomas DuBose for transport on to Washington, D.C.
After Marcel and Cavitt leave with Brazel, the two deputies return to say they did not find the debris field but observed a burned area in one of the pastures. There the sand has been turned to glass and blackened. It looks as if something circular has touched down.
At the Fort Worth Army Air Field, DuBose and Colonel Alan D. Clark, the base commander, meet the aircraft from Roswell. Clark receives the plastic bag with the debris and walks to the "command" B-26 to fly it to Washington, D.C., and General McMullen.
Because of the distance to the ranch over roads that are less than adequate, Brazel, Marcel, and Cavitt do not arrive until after dark. They stay at the "Hines" house (an old ranch house close to the debris field), eat cold beans, and wait for daylight. Marcel runs a Geiger counter over the large piece of wreckage Brazel has stored in the cattle shed. He detects no sign of radiation.
Monday, July 7,1947
At 2:00A.M. a special flight leaves for Andrews AAF in Washington, D.C. Some of the debris and the bodies are on that flight.
Brazel takes the two military officers out to the crash site. It is three-quarters of a mile long and two to three hundred feet wide. A gouge starting at the northern end of it extends for four or five hundred feet toward the other end. It looks as if something has touched down and skipped along. The largest piece of debris is recovered at the southern edge of the gouge.
The debris is as thin as newsprint, but incredibly strong. There is foil that, when crumpled, unfolds itself without a sign of a wrinkle, I beams that flex slightly and have some symbols on them, and material resembling Bakelite.
Marcel and Cavitt walk the perimeter of the field and then range out looking for more details or another crash site, but find nothing else. Finally they return and spend the remainder of the day collecting debris. They load the rear of Marcel's car and then the jeep carryall driven by Cavitt. About dusk they begin the trip back to Roswell.
Lieutenant General Nathan E Twining, the commander of the Air Materiel Command, the parent organization at Wright Field, Ohio, and the next higher headquarters for both the Alamogordo Army Air Field and the Kirtland Army Air Field, changes his plans and flies into Alamogordo.
General Carl Spaatz, commander of the army air forces, on "vacation" in the Pacific Northwest, tells reporters that he knows nothing about the flying disks or the plans of various local units to search for them.
Intrigued by the story Joyce has told him about the telephone interview he'd conducted with Brazel, Walt Whitmore, Sr., wants to learn more. Whitmore, who knows many of the ranchers and is familiar with the area, drives out to find Brazel.
Brazel, now in the company of Walt Whitmore, Sr., has been asked to stay the night in Roswell.
Tuesday. July 8.1947
At 2:00 A.M. Marcel stops at his house on the way to the base. He awakens his wife, Viaud Marcel, and son, Jesse, Jr., to show them the material. Over the next hour they examine the debris on the kitchen floor. Marcel, Sr., says it was a flying saucer. Marcel is not breaking regulations since nothing has yet been classified. With the help of his son, Marcel loads it into the car to be taken to the base.
At 6:00 A.M. Marcel and Cavitt visit with Blanchard in his quarters and tell him what they have seen.
Blanchard calls the provost marshal and orders him to post guards on the roads around the debris field, denying access to anyone without official business. Easley is directed to locate Brazel and have him escort the MPs to the crash site.
Blanchard calls Eighth Air Force headquarters and advises them of the new find. By this time no one believes the material is from a Soviet device.
Eighth Air Force relays the message up the chain of command to SAC headquarters.
The regular morning staff meeting is moved up to 7:30 A.M. Blanchard discusses the new find and its possible disposition. Attending the meeting are Marcel and Cavitt; Lieutenant Colonel James I. Hopkins, the operations officer; Major Patrick Saunders, the base adjutant; Major Isidore Brown, the personnel officer; and Lieutenant Colonel Ulysses S. Nero, the supply officer There is reason to believe that Lieutenant Colonel Charles W Horton, Lieutenant Colonel Fernand L. Andry; Lieutenant Walter Haut, and Master Sergeant Lewis Rickett may have also been there.
Whitmore, his wire-recorded interview wkh Brazel completed, takes Brazel out to the military base.
At 9:00 A.M. Cavitt and Rickett, having returned from assignment in Carlsbad, drive a staff car to the impact site, followed by MPs. They are stopped by the guards who are still posted. When they arrive, they see that a small containment of debris remains which Rickett is allowed to examine.
Whitmore of KGFL receives a phone call from Washington. He is told not to air the interview with Mac Brazel. If he does, the station will lose its broadcast license.
Blanchard and members of the staff confer by phone with higher headquarters. Brigadier General Roger Ramey orders Marcel to Fort Worth.
Military officers begin to interrogate Mac Brazel. He is taken to the guest house.
At 11:00 A.M. Walter Haut finishes the press release he'd been ordered to write and is preparing to take it into town. He takes it first to one of the radio stations. By noon he has given a copy of the release to both radio stations and to both daily newspapers.
Sheriff Wilcox, wondering what happened out at the crash site, sends two more deputies out. This time they run into the cordon thrown up by the rnilitary and are turned back. The army is letting no unauthorized personnel onto the crash site.
At 2:26 P.M. the story is out on the AP wire. The story announces: "The army air forces here today announced a flying disc had been found."
The phones at the base start ringing. Irritated at his inability to get a line out, Blanchard orders Haut to do something about all the incoming calls. Haut says there is nothing he could do about incoming calls.
Robert Shirkey, standing in the operations building, watches as MPs begin carrying wreckage through to load onto a C-54 from the First Air Transport Unit. To see better, he has to step around Colonel Blanchard.
At 2:30 PM. Blanchard decides it is time to go on leave. Too many phone callers into the base are asking to speak with him. He, along with a few members of his staff, drive out to the debris field. Those left at the base are told to inform the reporters that the colonel is now on leave.
At 2:55 PM. the AP reports in a "95," just under a bulletin in importance, that a flying disk had been found.
At 3:00 P.M. Marcel is told that he is going to Fort Worth with the wreckage. Only a few packages are loaded onto the plane. One, a triangular package about two feet long, is wrapped in brown paper. The other three are about the size of shoe boxes. They are so light that it feels as if there is nothing in them. The special flight, a B-29, takes off for the Fort Worth Army Air Field.