by Christopher Schmidt
January 1993

From: Christopher Schmidt -
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 1995 07:49:21 GMT )

     1       INTRODUCTION

      1.1         Document Description
      1.2         Sequence of Events

     2       THE CIVILIANS
      2.1         Loretta Proctor
      2.2         Marian Strickland
      2.3         Bessie Brazel Schreiber
      2.4         William Brazel Jr
      2.5         Glenn Dennis

     3       THE COPS
      3.1          Barbara Dugger

     4       THE PRESS

      4.1         Frank Joyce
      4.2         Lydia Sleppy
      4.3         Walt Whitmore Jr

     5       THE MILITARY

      5.1         Jesse Marcel
      5.2         Jesse Marcel Jr
      5.3         Walter Haut
      5.4         Bill Rickett
      5.5         F.B.
      5.6         Robert Porter
      5.7         Robert Shirkey
      5.8         Robert Slusher
      5.9         Robert Smith
      5.10        Melvin Brown's Daughter
      5.11        Pappy Henderson
      5.12        Pappy Henderson's Wife
      5.13        Pappy Henderson's Daughter
      5.14        Pappy Henderson's Relatives
      5.15        Pappy Henderson's Friend #1
      5.16        Pappy Henderson's Friend #2


      6.1         Weather Balloon
      6.2         Secret Rocket or Airplane


1.1 Document Description

A flying saucer crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
This document contains testimony from people who were
closely associated with this incident.

Most of the testimony in this document is from the 1992 book
"Crash at Corona" by Stanton Friedman and Don Berliner,
published in the United States by Paragon House. That book
contains lots of other interesting material, including
material regarding another crash site in New Mexico. That
book is the source of all testimony in this document except
where noted.

1.2 Sequence of Events

On July 2, 1947, during the evening, a flying saucer crashed
on the Foster Ranch near Corona, New Mexico. The crash
occurred during a severe thunderstorm. (The military base
nearest the crash site is in Roswell, New Mexico; hence,
Roswell is more closely associated with this event than
Corona, even though Corona is closer to the crash site.)

On July 3, 1947, William "Mac" Brazel (rhymes with
"frazzle") and his 7-year-old neighbor Dee Proctor found the
remains of the crashed flying saucer. Brazel was foreman of
the Foster Ranch. The pieces were spread out over a large
area, perhaps more than half a mile long. When Brazel drove
Dee back home, he showed a piece of the wreckage to Dee's
parents, Floyd and Loretta Proctor. They all agreed the
piece was unlike anything they had ever seen.

On July 6, 1947, Brazel showed pieces of the wreckage to
Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox. Wilcox called Roswell
Army Air Field (AAF) and talked to Major Jesse Marcel, the
intelligence officer. Marcel drove to the sheriff's office
and inspected the wreckage. Marcel reported to his
commanding officer, Colonel William "Butch" Blanchard.
Blanchard ordered Marcel to get someone from the Counter
Intelligence Corps, and to proceed to the ranch with Brazel,
and to collect as much of the wreckage as they could load
into their two vehicles.

Soon after this, military police arrived at the sheriff's
office, collected the wreckage Brazel had left there, and
delivered the wreckage to Blanchard's office. The wreckage
was then flown to Eighth Air Force headquarters in Fort
Worth, and from there to Washington.

Meanwhile, Marcel and Sheridan Cavitt of the Counter
Intelligence Corps drove to the ranch with Mac Brazel. They
arrived late in the evening. They spent the night in
sleeping bags in a small out-building on the ranch, and in
the morning proceeded to the crash site.

On July 7, 1947, Marcel and Cavitt collected wreckage from
the crash site. After filling Cavitt's vehicle with
wreckage, Marcel told Cavitt to go on ahead, that Marcel
would collect more wreckage, and they would meet later back
at Roswell AAF. Marcel filled his vehicle with wreckage. On
the way back to the air field, Marcel stopped at home to
show his wife and son the strange material he had found.

On July 7, 1947, around 4:00 pm, Lydia Sleppy at Roswell
radio station KSWS began transmitting a story on the
teletype machine regarding a crashed flying saucer out on
the Foster Ranch. Transmission was interrupted, seemingly by
the FBI.

On July 8, 1947, in the morning, Marcel and Cavitt arrived
back at Roswell AAF with two carloads of wreckage. Marcel
accompanied this wreckage, or most it, on a flight to Fort
Worth AAF.

On July 8, 1947, around noon, Colonel Blanchard at Roswell
AAF ordered Second Lieutenant Walter Haut to issue a press
release telling the country that the Army had found the
remains of a crashed a flying saucer. Haut was the public
information officer for the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell AAF.
Haut delivered the press release to Frank Joyce at radio
station KGFL. Joyce waited long enough for Haut to return to
the base, then called Haut there to confirm the story. Joyce
then sent the story on the Western Union wire to the United
Press bureau.

On July 8, 1947, in the afternoon, General Clemence McMullen
in Washington spoke by telephone with Colonel (later
Brigadier General) Thomas DuBose in Fort Worth, chief of
staff to Eighth Air Force Commander General Roger Ramey.
McMullen ordered DuBose to tell Ramey to quash the flying
saucer story by creating a cover story, and to send some of
the crash material immediately to Washington.

On July 8, 1947, in the afternoon, General Roger Ramey held
a press conference at Eighth Air Force headquarters in Fort
Worth in which he announced that what had crashed at Corona
was a weather balloon, not a flying saucer. To make this
story convincing, he showed the press the remains of a
damaged weather balloon that he claimed was the actual
wreckage from the crash site. (Apparently, the obliging
press did not ask why the Army hurriedly transported weather
balloon wreckage to Fort Worth, Texas, site of the press
conference, from the crash site in a remote area of New

The only newspapers that carried the initial flying saucer
version of the story were evening papers from the Midwest to
the West, including the Chicago Daily News, the Los Angeles
Herald Express, the San Francisco Examiner, and the Roswell
Daily Record. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and
the Chicago Tribune were morning papers and so carried only
the cover-up story the next morning.

At some point, a large group of soldiers were sent to the
debris field on the Foster Ranch, including a lot of MPs
whose job was to limit access to the field. A wide search
was launched well beyond the limits of the debris field.
Within a day or two, a few miles from the debris field, the
main body of the flying saucer was found, and a mile or two
from that several bodies of small humanoids were found.

The military took Mac Brazel into custody for about a week,
during which time he was seen on the streets of Roswell with
a military escort. His behavior aroused the curiosity of
friends when he passed them without any sign of recognition.
Following this period of detention, Brazel repudiated his
initial story.


2.1 Loretta Proctor

[NB: In the sections of this document that contain
testimony, all text not enclosed in brackets, like those
that enclose this sentence, is verbatim testimony.]

[Loretta Proctor, Mac Brazel's nearest neighbor, was one of
the first to see pieces of the wreckage Brazel had found.
She was interviewed in July 1990.]

[Mac] had this piece of material that he had picked up. He
wanted to show it to us and wanted us to go down and see the
rest of the debris or whatever, [but] we didn't on account
of the transportation and everything wasn't too good. He
didn't get anybody to come out who was interested in it. The
piece he brought looked like a kind of tan, lightbrown
plastic. It was very lightweight, like balsa wood. It wasn't
a large piece, maybe about four inches long, maybe just a
little larger than a pencil.

We cut on it with a knife and would hold a match on it, and
it wouldn't burn. We knew it wasn't wood. It was smooth like
plastic, it didn't have a real sharp corners, kind of like a
dowel stick. Kind of dark tan. It didn't have any grain,
just smooth. I hadn't seen anything like it.

[The following statement by Loretta Proctor suggests the
possibility that Mac Brazel had been bribed to keep quiet.]

I think that within that year, he had moved off the ranch
and moved to Alamagordo or to Tularosa and he put in a
locker there. That was before people had home freezers, and
it was a large refrigerated building. You would buy beef and
cut it up and put it in those lockers and you had a key to
it and you could get your beef out when you wanted it. I
think it would have been pretty expensive, and we kind of
wondered how he could put it in with rancher's wages.

[Here is what Loretta Proctor said on the American
television program "Unsolved Mysteries".]

Floyd [Loretta's husband] and a neighbor was in Roswell and
saw Mac surrounded by some of the Air Force people. And they
walked right by them and Mac wouldn't speak to them. They
thought it was kind of funny, I guess, really wondered what
he'd got into. And Mac, he wouldn't talk about it after he
come back home. But he did say if he ever found something
else he wouldn't report it.

2.2 Marian Strickland

[Marian Strickland was a neighbor of Mac Brazel. She was
interviewed in 1990.]

[Mac] made it plain he was not supposed to tell that there
was any excitement about the material he found on the ranch.
He was a man who had integrity. He definitely felt insulted
and mis-used, and disrespected. He was worse than annoyed.
He was definitely under some stress, and felt that he had
been kicked around.

He was threatened that if he opened his mouth, he might get
thrown in the back side of the jail. He gave that
impression, definitely.

2.3 Bessie Brazel Schreiber

[Bessie Brazel Schreiber is Mac Brazel's daughter. Here is
her description of wreckage from the crash.]

[The material resembled] a sort of aluminum-like foil. Some
of [these] pieces had a sort of tape stuck to them. Even
though the stuff looked like tape, it could not be peeled
off or removed at all. Some of these pieces had something
like numbers and lettering on them, but there were no words
we were able to make out. The figures were written out like
you would write numbers in columns, but they didn't look
like the numbers we use at all.

[There was also] a piece of something made out of the same
metal-like foil that looked like a pipe sleeve. About four
inches across and equally long, with a flange on one end.
[Also] what appeared to be pieces of heavily waxed paper.

2.4 William Brazel Jr

[William Brazel Jr is Mac Brazel's son. Here is his
description of wreckage from the crash.]

[One of the pieces looked like] something on the order of
tinfoil, except that [it] wouldn't tear.... You could
wrinkle it and lay it back down and it immediately resumed
its original shape... quite pliable, but you couldn't crease
or bend it like ordinary metal. Almost like a plastic, but
definitely metallic. Dad once said that the Army had once
told him it was not anything made by us.

[There was also] some threadlike material. It looked like
silk, but was not silk, a very strong material [without]
strands or fibers like silk would have. This was more like a
wire, all one piece or substance.

[There were also] some wooden-like particles like balsa wood
in weight, but a bit darker in color and much harder.... It
was pliable but wouldn't break. Weighed nothing, but you
couldn't scratch it with your fingernail. All I had was a
few small bits. [There was no writing or markings on the
pieces I had] but Dad did say one time that there were what
he called "figures" on some of the pieces he found. He often
referred to the petroglyphs the ancient Indians drew on the
rocks around here as "figures", too, and I think that's what
he meant to compare them with.

[Here are other remarks by William Brazel Jr.]

My dad found this thing and he told me a little bit about
it, not much, because the Air Force asked him to take an
oath that he wouldn't tell anybody in detail about it. He
went to his grave and he never told anybody.

He was an oldtime Western cowboy, and they didn't do a lot
of talking. My brother and I had just went through World War
II (him in the Army and me in the Navy) and needless to say,
my dad was proud. Like he told me, "When you guys went in
the service, you took an oath, and I took an oath not to
tell." The only thing he said was, "Well, there's a big
bunch of stuff, and there's some tinfoil, some wood, and on
some of that wood there was Japanese or Chinese figures."

[At the time of the crash, William Brazel Jr had been living
and working in Albuquerque, but returned when his father was
taken into custody and thus there was no one to run the

I rode out there [the field where the wreckage was found] on
the average of once a week, and I was riding through that
area, I was looking. That's why I found those little pieces.

Not over a dozen pieces. I'd say maybe eight different
pieces. But there was only three [different] items involved:
something on the order of balsa wood, something on the order
of heavy-gauge monofilament fishing line, and a little piece
of -- it wasn't tinfoil, it wasn't lead foil -- a piece
about the size of my finger. Some of it was like balsa wood:
real light and kind of neutral color, more of a tan. To the
best of my memory, there wasn't any grain in it. Couldn't
break it, it'd flex a little. I couldn't whittle it with my
pocket knife.

The "string", I couldn't break it. The only reason I noticed
the tinfoil (I'm gonna call it tinfoil), I picked this stuff
up and put it in my chaps pocket. Might be two or three days
or a week before I took it out and put it in a cigar box. I
happened to notice when I put that piece of foil in that
box, and the damn thing just started unfolding and just
flattened out. Then I got to playing with it. I'd fold it,
crease it, lay it down and it'd unfold. It's kinda wierd. I
couldn't tear it. The color was in between tinfoil and lead
foil, about the [thickness] of lead foil.

I was in Corona, in the bar, the pool hall. Sort of the
meeting place, domino parlor.... That's where everybody got
together. Everybody was asking, they'd seen the papers (this
was about a month after the crash) and I said, "Oh, I picked
up a few little bits and pieces and fragments." So, what are
they? "I dunno."

Then lo and behold, here comes the military out to the
ranch, a day or two later. I'm almost positive that the
officer in charge, his name was Armstrong, a real nice guy.
He had a [black] sergeant with him that was real nice. I
think there was two other enlisted men. They said, "We
understand your father found this weather balloon." I said,
"Well yeah." "And we understand you found some bits and
pieces." I said, "Yeah, I've got a cigar box that's got a
few of them in there, down at the saddle shed."

And this (I think he was a captain), and he said, "Well, we
would like to take it with us." I said, "Well..." And he
smiled and he said, "Your father turned the rest of it over
to us, and you know he's under an oath not to tell. Well,"
he said, "we came after those bits and pieces." And I kind
of smiled and said, "OK, you can have the stuff, I have no
use for it at all."

He said, "Well, have you examined it?" And I said, "Well,
enough to know that I don't know what the hell it is." And
he said, "We would rather you didn't talk very much about

2.5 Glenn Dennis

[Glenn Dennis was a mortician in Roswell in 1947. His
employer provided mortuary services for Roswell Army Air
Field. Dennis drove a combination hearse and ambulance for
both civilian and military assignments. On July 9 or 10,
1947, Dennis got several phone calls from the Roswell AAF
mortuary officer, who was more of an administrator than a
mortuary technician. The officer wanted to know about
hermetically sealed caskets ("What was the smallest one they
could get?"), and about chemical solutions. Dennis was
interviewed in August 1989 by Stanton Friedman.]

This is what was so interesting. See, this is why I feel
like there was really something involved in this, because
they didn't want to do anything that was going to make an
imbalance. They kept saying, "OK, what's this going to do to
the blood system, what's this going to do to the tissue?"
Then when they informed me that these bodies [had] laid out
in the middle of July, in the middle of the prairie, I mean
that body's going to be as dark as your [blue] blazer there,
and it's going to be in bad shape. I was the one who
suggested dry ice. I'd done that a time or two.

I talked to them four or five times in the afternoon. They
would keep calling back and asking me different questions
involving the body. What they were really after was how to
move those bodies. They didn't give me any indication they
even had the bodies, or where they were. But they kept
talking about these bodies, and I said, "What do the bodies
look like?" And they said, "I don't know, but I'll tell you
one thing: This happened some time ago." The only thing that
was mentioned was that they were exposed to the elements for
several days.

I understand these bodies weren't in the same location as
where they found some of the others. They said the bodies
weren't in the vehicle itself; the bodies were separated by
two or three miles from it. They talked about three
different bodies: two of them mangled, one that was in
pretty good shape.

[That evening, Dennis took a GI accident victim to the base
infirmary, which was in the same building as the hospital
and the mortuary. He walked the injured GI inside, then
drove around to the back to see a pretty young Army Air
Forces nurse he had recently gotten to know.]

There were two MPs standing right there, and I got out and
started to go in. I wouldn't have gotten as far as I did if
I hadn't parked in the emergency area. They probably thought
I was coming after somebody. The doors were open to the
military ambulances and that's where some wreckage was, and
there was an MP on each side. I saw all the wreckage.

I don't know what it was, but I knew there was something
going on, and that's when I first got an inclination that
something was happening. What was so curious about it, was
that in two of those ambulances was a deal that looked like
[the bottom] half of a canoe. It didn't look like aluminum.
You know what stainless steel looks like when you put heat
on it? How it'll turn kinda purplish, with kind of a blue
hue to it? [Dennis later said that he saw a row of
unrecognizable symbols several inches high on the metal
devices.] I just glanced in and kept going.

When I got inside, I noticed there was quite a bit of
activity. When I went back into the lounge, there were "big
birds" [high-ranking officers he didn't recognize, though he
was familiar with all the local medical people] everywhere.
They were really shook up. So I went down the hall where I
usually go, and I got down the hall just a little way and an
MP met me right there. He wanted to know who the hell I was
and where I was from, and what business did I have there? I
explained who I was. Evidently he was under the impression
that they called me to come out.

Anyway, I got past that and I went on in and then this is
where I met the nurse. She was involved in this thing, she
was on duty. She told me, "How in the hell did you get in
here?" I said, "I just walked in." She said, "My God, you
are going to get killed." And I said, "They didn't stop me."
I was going to the Coke machine to get us a Coke, and this
big red-headed colonel said, "What's that son of a bitch
doing here?"

He hollered at the MPs and that's when it hit the fan. These
two MPs grabbed me by the arms and carried me clear outside.
They carried me to the ambulance. I didn't walk, they
carried me. And they told me to get my ass out of there.
[They followed him back to the funeral home.]

About two or three hours later, they [called] and told me,
"You open your mouth and you'll be so far back in the jug
they'll have to shoot pinto beans [into you] with a bean
shooter." I just laughed and said, "Go to hell."

[Dennis spoke with the nurse again the following day.]

She said there were three little bodies. Two of them were
just mangled beyond everything, but there was one of them
that was really in pretty good condition.

And she said, "Let me show you the difference between our
anatomy and theirs. Really, what they looked like was
ancient Chinese: small, fragile, no hair." She said their
noses didn't protrude, the eyes were set pretty deep, and
the ears were just little indentations. She said the anatomy
of the arms was different, the upper arm was longer than the
lower. They didn't have thumbs, they had four different, she
called them "tentacles", I think. Didn't have any
fingernails. She then described how they had little things
like suction cups on their fingertips.

I asked her were these men or women? [Were their] sex organs
the same as ours? She said, "No, some were missing." The
first thing that decomposes on a body would be the brain,
next the sex organs, especially in women. But she thought
there had probably been something, some animals. Some of
these bodies were badly mutilated.

She said they got the bodies out of those containers [the
ones he had seen in the backs of the ambulances, on the way
into the hospital]. See, they weren't at the crash site,
they were about a mile or two from the crash site. She said
they looked like they had their own little cabins. She said
the lower portion, the abdomen and legs, was crushed, but
the upper portion wasn't that bad. She told me the head was
larger and it was kind of like, the eyes were different.

[A few weeks later, Dennis heard from his father.]

"What the hell'd you get into? What kind of trouble are you
in?" I said, "I'm not in any trouble." And he said, "The
hell you're not. The sheriff [an old friend of the elder
Dennis] said that the base personnel have been in and they
want to know all about your background."


3.1 Barbara Dugger

[Barbara Dugger is the granddaughter of George and Inez
Wilcox. George was the sheriff who Mac Brazel contacted
after discovering the crashed flying saucer. Barbara Dugger
was interviewed in 1991 by Kevin Randle.]

[My grandmother said] "Don't tell anybody. When the incident
happened, the military police came to the jailhouse and told
George and I that if we ever told anything about the
incident, not only would we be killed, but our entire family
would be killed."

They called my grandfather and someone came and told him
about this incident. He went out there to the site. There
was a big burned area and he saw debris. It was in the
evening. There were four space beings. Their heads were
large. They wore suits like silk. One of the little men was
alive. If she [Inez] said it happened, it happened.

[Regarding the death threat, Barbara said Inez said:] "They
meant it, Barbara. They were not kidding."

She said the event shocked him. He never wanted to be
sheriff again after that. Grandmother ran for sheriff and
was defeated. My grandmother was a very loyal citizen of the
United States, and she thought it was in the best interest
of the country not to talk about it.


4.1 Frank Joyce

[Frank Joyce worked at the radio station KGFL. He got a
phone call from a man, presumably Mac Brazel, who reported
wreckage on his ranch.]

He asked me what to do about it. I recommended he go to
Roswell Army Air Base [sic].

The next thing I heard was that the PIO, [Lieutenant] Walter
Haut, came into the station some time after I got this call.
He handed me a news release printed on onionskin stationary
and left immediately. I called him back at the base and
said, "I suggest that you not release this type of story
that says you have a flying saucer or flying disk." He said,
"No, it's Ok. I have the OK from the C.O. [Colonel

I sent the release on the Western Union wire to the United
Press bureau. After I returned to the station, there was a
flash on the wire with the story: "The U.S. Army Air Corps
[sic] says it has a flying disk." They typed a paragraph or
two, and then other people got on the wire and asked for
more information. Then the phone calls started coming on,
and I referred them to [the airfield].

Then the wire stopped and just hummed. Then a phone call
came in, and the caller identified himself as an officer at
the Pentagon, and this man said some very bad things about
what would happen to me. He was really pretty nasty.
Finally, I got through to him: I said, "You're talking about
a release from the U.S. Army Air Corps." Bang, the phone
went dead, he was just gone.

Then [station owner Walt] Whitmore called me and said,
"Frank, what's going on down there?" He was quite upset. He
asked, "Where did you get this story?" In the meantime, I
got this [USAAF news] release and hid it, to have proof so
no one could accuse me of making it up. Whitmore came in to
the station and I gave him the release. He took it with him.

The next significant thing occurred in the evening. I got a
call from [Mac] Brazel. He said we haven't got this story
right. I invited him over to the station. He arrived not
long after sunset. He was alone, but I had the feeling that
we were being watched. He said something about a weather
balloon. I said, "Look, this is completely different than
what you told me on the phone the other day about the little
green men," and that's when he said, "No, they weren't
green." I had the feeling he was under tremendous pressure.
He said, "Our lives will never be the same again."

4.2 Lydia Sleppy

[Lydia Sleppy was a teletype operator at Roswell radio
station KSWS. The event she describes below took place
around 4:00 pm on July 7, 1947. She was interviewed in
October 1990 by Stanton Friedman.]

We were Mutual Broadcasting and ABC, and if we had anything
newsworthy, we would put it on the [teletype] machine, and I
was the one who did the typing. It was in my office. Mr
Tucker [Merle Tucker was the station owner] was in
Washington DC trying to get an application approved for a
station in El Paso, when this call came from John McBoyle
[another KSWS staffer]. He told me he had something hot for
the network. I said, "Give me a minute and I'll get the
assistant manager," because if it was anything like that, I
wanted one of them there while I was taking it down.

I went back and asked Mr [Karl] Lambertz (he came up from
the big Dallas station) if he would come up and watch. John
was dictating and [Karl] was standing right at my shoulder.
I got into it enough to know that it was a pretty big story,
when the bell came on [signaling an interruption]. Typing
came across: "This is the FBI, you will cease transmitting."

I had my shorthand pad, and I turned around and told [Karl]
that I had been cut off, but that I could take it in
shorthand and then we could call it in to the network. I
took it in shorthand, as John went on to give the story. He
had seen them take the thing away. He'd been out there
[presumably at the Foster ranch] when they took it away. And
at that time, if I remember correctly, John said they were
gonna load it up and take it to Texas. But when the planes
came in, they were from Wright Field.

4.3 Walt Whitmore Jr.

[Walt Whitmore Jr was the son of the owner of Roswell radio
station KGFL. Here is his description of wreckage from the

[It was] very much like lead foil in appearance but could
not be torn or cut at all. Extremely light in weight. Some
small beams that appeared to be either wood or woodlike had
a sort of writing on it which looked like numbers which had
either been added or multiplied [in columns].


5.1 Jesse Marcel

[Major Jesse Marcel was one of the the first two military
people to visit the Corona crash site. The other was
Sheridan Cavitt, who to this day has refused to even
acknowledge that he was there on the ranch with Marcel.
Jesse Marcel died in 1982. He was interviewed in 1979.]

When we arrived at the crash site, it was amazing to see the
vast amount of area it covered. It was nothing that hit the
ground or exploded [on] the ground. It's something that must
have exploded above ground, traveling perhaps at a high rate
of speed, we don't know. But it scattered over an area of
about three quarters of a mile long, I would say, and fairly
wide, several hundred feet wide. So we proceeded to pick up
all the fragments we could find and load up our Jeep
Carry-All. It was quite obvious to me, familiar with air
activities, that it was not a weather balloon, nor was it an
airplane or a missile. What it was, we didn't know. We just
picked up the fragments. It was something I had never seen
before, and I was pretty familiar with all air activities.
We loaded up the Carry-All but I wasn't satisfied. I told
Cavitt, "You drive this vehicle back to the base and I'll go
back out there and pick up as much as I can put in the
car,", which I did. But we picked up only a very small
portion of the material that was there.

One thing that impressed me about the debris that we were
referring to is the fact that a lot of it looked like
parchment. A lot of it had a lot of little members [I-beams]
with symbols that we had to call them hieroglyphics because
I could not interpret them, they could not be read, they
were just symbols, something that meant something and they
were not all the same. The members that this was painted on
-- by the way, those symbols were pink and purple, lavender
was actually what it was. And so these little members could
not be broken, could not be burned. I even tried to burn
that. It would not burn. The same with the parchment we had.

But something that is more astounding is that the piece of
metal that we brought back was so thin, just like the
tinfoil in a pack of cigarette paper. I didn't pay too much
attention to that at first, until one of the GIs came to me
and said, "You know the metal that was in there? I tried to
bend that stuff and it won't bend. I even tried it with a
sledge hammer. You can't make a dent on it."

I didn't go back to look at it myself again, because we were
busy in the office and I had quite a bit of work to do. I am
quite sure that this young fellow would not have lied to me
about that, because he was a very truthful, very honest guy,
so I accepted his word for that. So, beyond that, I didn't
actually see him hit the matter with a sledge hammer, but he
said, "It's definite that it cannot be bent and it's so
light that it doesn't weigh anything." And that was true of
all the material that was brought up. It was so light that
it weighed practically nothing.

This particular piece of metal was, I would say, about two
feet long and perhaps a foot wide. See, that stuff weighs
nothing, it's so thin, it isn't any thicker than the tinfoil
in a pack of cigarettes. So I tried to bend the stuff, it
wouldn't bend. We even tried making a dent in it with a
16-pound sledge hammer, and there was still no dent in it. I
didn't have the time to go out there and find out more about
it, because I had so much other work to do that I just let
it go. It's still a mystery to me as to what the whole thing
was. Like I said before, I knew quite a bit about the
material used in the air, but it was nothing I had seen
before. And as of now, I still don't know what it was. So
that's how it stands.

[Here is what Jesse Marcel said on the American television
program "Unsolved Mysteries".]

There were just fragments strewn all over the area, an area
about three quarters of a mile long and several hundred feet
wide. So we proceeded to pick up the parts.

I tried to bend the stuff, it would not bend. I even tried
to burn it, it would not burn. That stuff weighs nothing.
It's not any thicker than tin foil in a pack of cigarettes.
We even tried making a dent in it with a 16-pound sledge
hammer, still no dent in it.

One thing I was certain of, being familiar with all our
activities, that it was not a weather balloon, nor an
aircraft, nor a missile. It was something else, which we
didn't know what it was.

5.2 Jesse Marcel Jr

[Jesse Marcel Jr is Major Jesse Marcel's son. When Major
Marcel returned from the Foster Ranch with a carload of
wreckage from the crashed flying saucer, he stopped off at
home to show his wife and his eleven-year old son what he
had found. Jesse Jr is now a medical doctor, an Army reserve
helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam, and a qualified
aircraft accident investigator.]

The crash and remnants of the device that I happened to see
have left an imprint on my memory that can never be
forgotten. The craft was not conventional in any sense of
the word, in that the remains were most likely what was then
known as a flying saucer that had apparently been stressed
beyond its designed capabilities.

I'm basing this on the fact that many of the remnants,
including I-beam pieces that were present, had strange
hieroglyphic typewriting symbols across the inner surfaces,
pink and purple, except that I don't think there were any
animal figures present as there are in true Egyptian

The remainder of the debris was just described as
nondescript metallic debris, or just shredded fragments, but
there was a fair amount of the intact I-beam members
present. I only saw a small portion of the debris that was
actually present at the crash site.

[Here is what Jesse Marcel Jr said on the American
television program "Unsolved Mysteries".]

When [Dad] came back to the house he had a bunch of wreckage
with him at the time, and he brought the wreckage into the
house. Actually wakened my mother and myself out so we could
view this, because it was so unusual. This was about two
o'clock in the morning as I recall, and he spread it out so
we could get some basic idea what it looked like, what it

We were all amazed by this debris that was there, primarily
because we didn't know what it was, you know, it was just
the unknown....

This writing [on a short piece of I-beam] could be described
as like hieroglyphics, Egyptian-type hieroglyphics, but not
really. The symbols that were on the I-beams were more of a
geometric-type configuration in various designs. It had a
violet-purple type color and was actually an embossed part
of the metal itself.

Years after this incident happened, we would talk privately
among ourselves about what the possibilities of this, what
this thing was. And I feel that we, well I know that we came
to the conclusion it was not of earthly origin.

If I had not actually held pieces of it in my hand, I would
not think that it would be possible. But because I happened
to see this, that's the only reason I believe it....

My dad said obviously it [the weather balloon story] was a
cover-up story, it was not a weather balloon. He was a
little disturbed about that, but he had his own security
classification to protect. He could not really go public
with, hey this is not the real thing, I mean this is not a
weather balloon. So he had to keep that to himself.

5.3 Walter Haut

[Second Lieutenant Walter Haut was a public information
officer at Roswell AAF in 1947. Colonel Blanchard ordered
Haut to issue a press release telling the country that the
Army had found a flying saucer. Here is the text of Haut's
press release.]

The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality
yesterday when the Intelligence office of the 509th Bomb
Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was
fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the
cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff's
office of Chaves County.

The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime
last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored
the disc until such time as he was able to contact the
sheriff's office, who in turn notified Maj. Jesse A. Marcel
of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office.

Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at
the rancher's home. It was inspected at Roswell Army Air
Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher

[Here is what Haut said on the American television program
"Unsolved Mysteries".]

I took the release into town. And that was one of the things
that Colonel Blanchard told me to do, take it into town,
because if there was any validity to this, he didn't want
the news media to feel that we had jumped over their heads
and were not cooperating with them.

[Here is what Haut said in an interview for an article in
"Air and Space/Smithsonian" magazine, Sep-Oct 1992, when
asked what he thought really happened back in 1947.]

I feel there was a crash of an extra-terrestrial vehicle
near Corona.

5.4 Bill Rickett

[Bill Rickett was a Counter Intelligence Corps officer based
in Roswell. He had an opportunity to examine some of the
wreckage recovered from the Foster Ranch. He escorted Dr
Lincoln LaPaz, a meteor expert from the New Mexico Institute
of Meteoritics, on a tour of the crash site and the
surrounding area.]

[The material] was very strong and very light. You could
bend it but couldn't crease it. As far as I know, no one
ever figured out what it was made of....

It was LaPaz's job to try to find out what the speed and
trajectory of the thing was. LaPaz was a world-renowned
expert on trajectories of objects in the sky, especially
meteors, and I was told to give him all the help I could.

At one point LaPaz interviewed the farmer [Mac Brazel]. I
remember something coming up during their conversation about
this fellow thinking that some of his animals had acted
strangely after this thing happened. Dr LaPaz seemed very
interested in this for some reason.

LaPaz wanted to fly over the area, and this was arranged. He
found one other spot where he felt this thing had touched
down and then taken off again. The sand at this spot had
been turned into a glass-like substance. We collected a
boxful of samples of this material. As I recall, there were
some metal samples here, too, of that same sort of thin foil
stuff. LaPaz sent this box off somewhere for study; I don't
know or recall where, but I never saw it again. This place
was some miles from the other one.

LaPaz was very good at talking to people, especially some of
the local ranch hands who didn't speak a lot of English.
LaPaz spoke Spanish. I remember he found a couple of people
who had seen two -- I don't know what to call them, UFOs I
suppose -- anyway, had seen two of these things fly over
very slowly at a very low altitude on a date, in the
evening, that he determined had been a day or two after the
other one had blown up. These people said something about
animals being affected, too....

Before he went back to Albuquerque, he told me that he was
certain that this thing had gotten into trouble, that it had
touched down for repairs, taken off again, and then
exploded. He also felt certain there were more than one of
these devices, and that the others had been looking for it.
At least that's what he said. He was positive the thing had

The Air Force's explanation that it was a balloon was
totally untrue. It was not a balloon. I never did know for
sure what its purpose was, but it wasn't ours. I remember
speculating with LaPaz that it might have been some higher
civilization checking on us. LaPaz wasn't against the idea,
but he was going to leave speculations out of his report.

5.5 F.B.

[F.B. was an Army Air Forces photographer stationed at
Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington DC when he and
fellow photographer A.K. were flown aboard a B-25 bomber to
Roswell Army Air Field sometime during the second week of
July 1947. F.B. was interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]

One morning they came in and they said, "Pack up your bags
and we'll have the cameras there, ready for you." We didn't
know where we was going.

[After a few hours' flight, they arrived at Roswell.] We got
in a staff car with some of the gear they had brought along
with us in trucks, and we headed out, about an hour and a
half, we was heading north.

We got out there [one of the crash sites in the Corona area]
and there was a helluva lot of people out there, in a closed
tent. You couldn't hardly see anything inside the tent. They
said, "Set your camera up to take a picture fifteen feet
away." A.K. got in a truck and headed out to where they was
picking up pieces. All kinds of brass running around. And
they was telling us what to do. Shoot this, shoot that.
There was an officer in charge. He met us out there and he'd
go into the tent and he'd come back and tell us, "OK." He'd
stand there right besides us and [say], "OK, take this

There was four bodies I could see when the flash went off,
but you was almost blind because it was a beautiful day,
sunny. You'd go in this tent, which was awful dark. That's
all I was taking, bodies. These bodies was under a canvas,
and they'd open it up and you'd take a picture, flip out
your flashbulb, put another one in [take another picture]
and give him the film holder (each holder held two sheets of
four-by-five inch cut film) and then you went to the next

I guess there was ten to twelve officers, and when I got
ready to go in, they'd all come out. The tent was about
twenty by thirty foot. The bodies looked like they was lying
on a tarp. One guy did all the instructions. He'd take a
flashlight and he'd come down there. "See this flashlight?"
Yes sir. "You're in focus with it?" Yes sir. "Take a picture
of this." He'd take the flashlight away. We just moved
around in a circle, taking pictures. Seemed to me [the
bodies] were all just about identical. Dark complected. I
remember they was thin, and it looked like they had too big
of a head. I took thirty shots. I think I had about fifteen
[film] holders. It smelled funny in there.

A.K. came back in a truck that was loaded down with debris.
A lot of pieces sticking out that wasn't there when they
took off. We got debriefed on the way back to the airport
[Roswell Army Air Field]. About four the next morning, they
woke us, they took us to the mess hall, we ate, we got back
on the B-25 and headed back. When we got back to Anacostia
we got debriefed some more, by a lieutenant commander. [It
was made clear to both F.B and A.K. that whatever they
thought they saw in New Mexico, they hadn't seen.]

5.6 Robert Porter

[M/Sgt Robert Porter was a B-29 flight engineer with the
830th Bomb Squadron. He happens to be Loretta Proctor's
brother. He was interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]

We flew these pieces. [Some officers in the crew] told us it
was parts of a flying saucer. The packages were in wrapping
paper, one triangle-shaped about two and a half feet across
the bottom, the rest in smaller, shoebox-sized packages.
[They were in] brown paper with tape. It was just like I
picked up an empty package, very light. The loaded
triangle-shaped package and three shoebox-sized packages
would have fit into the trunk of a car.

On board were Lieutenant Colonel Payne Jennings [deputy
commander of Roswell] and Major Marcel. Captain Anderson
said it was from a flying saucer. We got to Fort Worth, they
transferred [the packages] to a B-25 and took them to Wright
[Field]. When we landed at [Fort Worth], Colonel Jennings
told us to take care of maintenance, and after a guard was
posted, we could eat lunch. We came back, they told us they
had transferred the material to a B-25. They told us it was
a weather balloon. It WASN'T a weather balloon.

5.7 Robert Shirkey

[First Lieutenant Robert Shirkey was assistant operations
officer of the 509th Bomb Group. He was interviewed by
Stanton Friedman.]

A call came in to have a B-29 ready to go as soon as
possible. Where to? Forth Worth, on Colonel Blanchard's
directive. [I was] in the Operations Office when Colonel
Blanchard arrived and asked if the airplane was ready. When
told it was, Blanchard waved to somebody, and approximately
five people came in the front door, down the hallway, and
onto the ramp to climb into the airplane, carrying parts of
the crashed flying saucer. I got a very short glimpse, asked
Blanchard to turn sideways so [I] could see too. Saw them
carrying pieces of metal. They had one piece that was
eighteen by twenty-four inches, brushed stainless steel in

5.8 Robert Slusher

[S/Sgt Robert Slusher was assigned to the 393rd Bomb
Squadron. On or about July 9, 1947, he was on board a B-29
that carried a single crate from Roswell AAF to Fort Worth
AAF. Also on board were were four armed MPs. He said the
crate was twelve feet long, five feet wide, and four feet
high. Upon arrival at Fort Worth, the crate was loaded onto
a flatbed weapons carrier and hauled off, accompanied by the
MPs, who later rejoined the crew for the return flight.
Robert Slusher was interviewed in 1991.]

[There was an implication that the contents of the crate was
sensitive to air pressure, which suggests that the crate
contained something other than pieces of metal. The plane
flew at the unusually low altitude of four to five thousand
feet. Usually on such a trip a B-29 flies at twenty-five
thousand feet, as its cabin is pressurized and the B-29
flies better at high alititude. However, the bomb bay where
the crate was stowed cannot be pressurized.]

The return flight was above twenty thousand feet, and the
cabin was pressurized. The round trip took approximately
three hours, fifteen minutes. The flight was unusual in that
we flew there, dropped the cargo, and returned immediately.
It was a hurried flight; normally we knew the day before
there would be a flight.

There was a rumor that the crate had debris from the crash.
Whether there were any bodies, I don't know. The crate had
been specially made; it had no markings.

5.9 Robert Smith

[Robert Smith was a member of the First Air Transport Unit,
which operated Douglas C-54 Skymaster four-engined cargo
planes out of the Roswell AAF. He was interviewed in 1991.]

A lot of people began coming in all of a sudden because of
the official investigation. Somebody said it was a plane
crash, but we heard from a man in Roswell that it was not a
plane crash, it was something else, a strange object. There
was another indication that something serious was going on.
One night, when we were coming back to Roswell, a convoy of
trucks covered with canvas passed us. When they got to the
[airfield] gate, they headed over to this hangar on the east
end, which was rather unusual. The truck convoy had red
lights and sirens.

My involvement in the incident was to help load crates of
debris into the aircraft. We all became aware of the event
when we went to the hangar on the east side of the ramp.
There were a lot of people in plain clothes all over the
place. They were inspectors, but they were strangers on the
base. When challenged, they replied they were here on
Project So-and-So, and flashed a card, which was different
from a military ID card.

We were taken to the hangar to load crates. There was a lot
of farm dirt on the hangar floor. We loaded [the crates] on
flatbeds and dollies. Each crate had to be checked as to
width and height. We had to know which crates went on which
plane. We loaded crates on three [or] four C-54s. We weren't
supposed to know their destination, but we were told they
were headed north.

All I saw was a little piece of material. You could crumple
it up, let it come out. You couldn't crease it. One of our
people put it in his pocket. The piece of debris I saw was
two to three inches square. It was jagged. When you crumpled
it up, it then laid back out. And when it did, it kind of
crackled, making a sound like cellophane. It crackled when it
was let out. There were no creases.

There were armed guards around during loading of our planes,
which was unusual at Roswell. There was no way to get to the
ramp except through armed guards. There were MPs on the
outskirts, and our personnel were between them and the

The largest [crate] was roughly twenty feet long, four to
five feet high, and four to five feet wide. It took up an
entire plane. It wasn't that heavy, but it was a large
volume. The rest of the crates were two or three feet long
and two feet square or smaller. The sergeant who had the
piece of material said [it was like] the material in the
crates. The entire loading took at least six, perhaps eight
hours. Lunch was brought to us, which was unusual. The
crates were brought to us on flatbed dollies, which was also

Officially, we were told it was a crashed plane, but crashed
planes usually were taken to the salvage yard, not flown
out. I don't think it was an experimental plane, because not
too many people in that area were experimenting with planes.
I'm convinced that what we loaded was a UFO that got into
mechanical problems. Even with the most intelligent people,
things go wrong.

[The C-54 into which I helped load the single twenty-foot
crate] would have been Pappy Henderson's. I remember seeing
T/Sgt Harbell Elzey, T/Sgt. Edward Bretherton, and S/Sgt.
William Fortner.

5.10 Melvin Brown's Daughter

[Sergeant Melvin Brown was a cook at Roswell AAF in 1947.
One day, he was called out to help guard material retrieved
from the Foster Ranch. His daughter Beverly was interviewed
by Stanton Friedman in 1989.]

When we were young, he used to tell us stories about things
that had happened to him when he was young. We got to know
those stories by heart and would all say together, "Here we
go again."

Sometimes, but not too often, he used to say that he saw a
man from outer space. That used to make us all giggle like
mad. He said he had to stand guard duty outside a hangar
where a crashed flying saucer was stored, and that his
commanding officer said, "Come on, Brownie, let's have a
look inside." But they didn't see anything because it had
all been packed up and [was] ready to be flown out to Texas.

He also said that one day all available men were grabbed and
that they had to stand guard where a crashed disc had come
down. Everything was being loaded onto trucks, and he
couldn't understand why some of the trucks had ice or
something in them. He did not understand what they wanted to
keep cold. Him and another guy had to ride in the back of
one of the trucks, and although they were told that they
could get into a lot of trouble if they took in too much of
what was happening, they had a quick look under the covering
and saw two dead bodies, alien bodies.

We really had to giggle at that bit. He said they were
smaller than a normal man, about four feet, and had much
larger heads than us, with slanted eyes, and that the bodies
looked yellowish, a bit Asian-looking. We did not believe
him when we were kids, but as I got older, I did kind of
believe it. Once I asked him if he was scared by them, and
he said, "Hell no, they looked nice, almost as though they
would be friendly if they were alive."

5.11 Pappy Henderson

[Captain Oliver Wendell "Pappy" Henderson was stationed at
Roswell AAF in 1947. He had flown thirty missions in B-24
Liberator bombers in Europe. He had participated in the
postwar A-bomb tests in the Pacific and earned major
commendations for his flying. Unfortunately, he died before
any UFO investigator could interview him, but near the end
of his life he old some of the people closest to him about
what he had seen in July 1947.]

5.12 Pappy Henderson's Wife

[Sappho Henderson was Pappy Henderson's wife. She was
interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]

We met during World War II when he flew with the 446th Bomb
Squadron. He flew B-24s [on] thirty missions over Germany.
After the war, he returned home and was then sent to
Roswell. While stationed there, he ran the "Green Hornet
Airline", which involved flying C-54s and C-47s carrying
VIPs, scientists, and materials from Roswell to the Pacific
during the atom bomb tests. He had to have a Top Secret
clearance for this responsibility.

In 1980 or 1981, he picked up a newspaper at a grocery store
where we were living in San Diego. One article described the
crash of a UFO outside Roswell, with the bodies of aliens
discovered beside the craft. He pointed out the article to
me and said, "I want you to read this article, because it's
a true story. I'm the pilot who flew the wreckage of the UFO
to Dayton, Ohio [where Wright Field is]. I guess now that
they're putting it in the paper, I can tell you about this.
I wanted to tell you for years." Pappy never discussed his
work because of his security clearance.

He described the beings as small with large heads for their
size. He said the material that their suits were made of was
different than anything he had ever seen. He said they
looked strange. I believe he mentioned that the bodies had
been packed in dry ice to preserve them.

[Here is what Sappho Henderson said on the American
television program "Unsolved Mysteries".]

My husband Oliver Henderson, otherwise known as "Pappy" in
the Air Force, he was entrusted with many of this country's
top secrets. And they were safe with him. He never told
anything that he wasn't supposed to. And therefore it was 34
years after this incident happened that I heard about it....

My husband told me the bodies were smaller than human
bodies. The heads were larger and the eyes were rather
sunken and a little slanted. Clothing was of material unlike
anything he had seen before. They were strange, they were
not of this earth.

When my husband, who was a man of truth, who was trusted
with 29 different Army aircraft planes, first pilot aircraft
commander, tells me this story, I believed him.

5.13 Pappy Henderson's Daughter

[Mary Kathryn Groode is Pappy Henderson's daughter.]

When I was growing up, he and I would often spend evenings
looking at the stars. On one occasion, I asked him what he
was looking for. He said, "I'm looking for flying saucers.
They're real, you know."

In 1981, during a visit to my parents' home, my father
showed me a newspaper article which described the crash of a
UFO and the recovery of alien bodies outside Roswell, New
Mexico. He told me that he saw the crashed craft and the
alien bodies described in the article, and that he had flown
the wreckage to Ohio. He described the alien beings as small
and pale, with slanted eyes and large heads. He said they
were humanoid-looking, but different from us. I think he
said there were three bodies.

He said the matter had been Top Secret and that he was not
supposed to discuss it with anyone, but that he felt it was
alright to tell me because it was in the newspaper.

5.14 Pappy Henderson's Relatives

[Stanton Friedman spoke with Pappy Henderson's son and
cousin, both of whom told of having heard Pappy quietly tell
his story after the newspaper article appeared.]

5.15 Pappy Henderson's Friend #1

[John Kromschroeder is a dentist and a retired military
officer. In 1977, Henderson told Kromschroeder that in 1947
he had transported wreckage and alien bodies. About a year
later, Henderson showed Kromschroeder a piece of metal he
had taken from the collection of wreckage. Kromschroeder and
Henderson shared an interest in metallurgy. Kromschroeder
was interviewed in 1990.]

I gave it a good, thorough looking-at and decided it was an
alloy we are not familiar with. Gray, lustrous metal
resembling aluminum, lighter in weight and much stiffer. [We
couldn't] bend it. Edges sharp and jagged.

5.16 Pappy Henderson's Friend #2

[In 1982, Pappy Henderson met with several members of his
old bomber crew during a reunion. One of these men was later

It was in his hotel room that he told us the story of the
UFO and about his part. All we were told by Pappy is that he
flew the plane to Wright Field. He definitely mentioned the
bodies, but I don't recall any details except that they were
small and different. I was skeptical at first, but soon saw
that Pappy was quite serious.


6.1 Weather Balloon

If what crashed was a weather balloon, there would have been
no need for secrecy. According to the testimony, military
officers admonished subordinates and civilians not to talk
about what they saw.

If what crashed was a weather balloon, Major Marcel would
have recognized the material Mac Brazel showed him as
weather balloon material, and would not have journeyed far
out on a remote sheep ranch with an officer from the Counter
Intelligence Corps to examine the crash site.

The wreckage described by Marcel and others was too
voluminous, and spread out over too large an area, to have
been the wreckage of a crashed weather balloon.

There is no reason the Army would transport the wreckage of
a weather balloon from the remote desert outside Corona
first to Roswell AAF, then on to Fort Worth AAF.

Most of the witnesses who saw or handled the wreckage would
have recognized the remains of a crashed weather balloon.

6.2 Secret Rocket or Airplane

If what crashed was any kind of secret military apparatus,
one would expect at least some of the pieces to have
recognizable letters or numbers on them. Many of the
witnesses say that some of the wreckage bore a very strange
kind of writing, but not one witness has said that any of
the wreckage bore any recognizable symbols.

If what crashed was any kind of secret military apparatus,
the Army would have said simply, "This is secret, and no
more questions will be answered, period." The Army would not
have concocted the flying saucer and weather balloon
stories. In 1947, Americans were less skeptical about the
motives of their government, and the people of New Mexico,
including journalists and other civilians, were dependent
for their livelihood on secret military projects.

If what crashed was any kind of secret military apparatus,
the Army would not have waited for a rancher to inform them
of the crash before sending military personnel to examine
the wreckage, five days after the crash.

Rockets and airplanes that were secret in 1947 are not
secret now. If what crashed was a secret rocket or airplane,
it would have been revealed as such years ago. (Incredibly,
the Army is sticking to its weather balloon story, even
though nobody believes it anymore.)

By July 1947, rockets launched from White Sands were fitted
with self-destruct mechanisms so that an errant rocket could
be destroyed before leaving the test range. The Corona crash
site is about 75 miles from the nearest border of the test

They did not fly secret airplanes in New Mexico in 1947.
There was plenty of room for that in California, where all
the secret airplane projects were carried on.

There is no reason the Army would transport the wreckage of
a crashed rocket or airplane to Fort Worth AAF, then to
Wright AAF in Ohio. The wreckage of a secret rocket would
stay in New Mexico, and the wreckage of a secret airplane
would be sent back to California, if anywhere.

Most of the witnesses who saw or handled the wreckage would
have recognized the remains of a crashed rocket or airplane.

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