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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 1

Re: Examination of Roswell Photos Clears Air Force

From: KRandle993@aol.com [Kevin Randle]
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 12:58:31 EDT
Fwd Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 17:54:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Examination of Roswell Photos Clears Air Force

Hi Errol and all -

I thought since this stuff keeps appearing, that an opposing
point of view might be amusing.

>From: JBONJO@aol.com [James Bond Johnson]
>To: updates@globalserve.net
>Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 00:38:19 EDT
>Subject: New High Tech Examination of Old Roswell Photos
          Clears Air Force General of Hoax

>This Press Release from Orange County MUFON has been released
>today to the wire services.  I have been contacted by numerous
>media requesting radio, TV and press interviews and for me to be
>photographed with the new super enlargements which show the
>various "writings" and anomalous materials in the old Roswell UFO
>photos.  I have resisted all such interviews since I do not claim
>to be an "expert" and have not posed for any photos.  I have been
>urged to write "my story" and have done so briefly.  I am sending
>it to you as background for use in any coverage that you might
>want to give to this breaking story.  Ron Regehr, who is so much
>more qualified to discuss the technical aspects of these new
>developments, has kindly volunteered to handle media requests for
>interviews.  Thank you.

>James Bond Johnson


Once again I find myself having to defend my reporting of the
events that took place outside of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

Once again, I'm being accused of misquoting a source now that the
source has changed his story significantly, with the obvious
intent of moving himself from obscurity into the spotlight.

And, once again, I have the audio tape back-up to show that my
quotes were not wrong, but that the source has made the mistakes
as he has altered his story so that he can become more important
to the Roswell case.

I first learned about J. Bond Johnson in 1989 as I began to
actively investigate the Roswell UFO crash case. Photographs of
material claimed to be debris from the crash site had been taken
in the office of Brigadier General Roger M. Ramey on July 8,
1947. It was clear from the captions that the photographs were in
the possession of the  Fort Worth Star-Telegram because they had
been taken by one of their photographers. I called them only to
learn that many of their photographs had been donated to the
Special Collections being housed at the University of Texas  at
Arlington library.

So I called there and spoke to Betsy Hudon who was in charge of
that collection. I told her what I wanted and she told me that
they had four photographs taken of Roger Ramey with a rawin
target device on July 8. I asked for copies, and they were sent.
I probably should note here, for clarification, that the labeling
at the library said they had four pictures of Ramey but in
reality two of them were of Major Jesse A. Marcel, Sr.

While talking to her, she mentioned that another fellow had
recently called about those same pictures and said that he was
the man who had taken them. If that was true, here was a witness
who had been in General Ramey's office at the critical time on
July 8. He might be able to provide some valuable insight into
those events that transpired in there. Here was a man to whom I
had to speak.

But Hudon didn't think it was right to give me his name. I asked
her if she would forward a letter to him, from me, and that way
he could contact me, if he wanted. She said that would be fine. I
wrote the letter, sent it, and she forward it on to, at that
point, the unidentified photographer.

Within days I heard from J. Bond Johnson. He wanted to talk about
the events in Ramey's office. I called him back on February 27,
1989 and we spoke for about forty minutes. I recorded the
conversation so that a record of it exists. A record that Johnson
now denies, by the way.

This was the first big break in my Roswell investigation. A few
days before, I had interviewed Bill Brazel in Carizozo, New
Mexico, and he had confirmed his handling of the strange metallic
debris, his father's discovery of the field of metallic debris,
and the suggestions by military officials that neither Brazel nor
his son talk of what they had seen. But Brazel had spoken to
others, telling them much the same thing that he told me. Johnson
was a new witness, one who had not been identified by others and
who had not been interviewed by others. Here was the first,
critical discovery.

Looking at the transcripts of that interview  now, I see where my
enthusiasm has overwhelmed me. Listening to the tapes, I can hear
where I should have spent more time listening and a little less
time talking about the case. From some of my comments I can see
where the criticism that I was coaching the witness might
originate. Well, not really, but then, a sharing of information
before I have fully questioned the witness is not the best
interrogation technique. I should have been quiet.

For example, Johnson said, "I took the picture of General Ramey
and the wreckage. General Ramey was the commander of the
Twentieth Air Force at that time. Or maybe not the Twentieth,
maybe the  Fifteenth." I said that I thought it was the Eighth
Air Force, but Johnson said, "I think that's not right." Of
course it was right, but it could be suggested that I was
coaching the witness when all I was doing was correcting a minor,
factual error that means nothing in the overall picture.

After that, Johnson said, in a fairly disjointed way, "The
Star-Telegram. The interesting things that you get into, that you
may know about... oh, those pictures have been used on a couple
of TV shows. One was Star Trek. No, Star... In Search OF which
Leonard Nimoy was the host of. And I was sitting watching the TV
and it popped up and showed this picture and oh, there's my
picture. That kind of thing..."

Johnson then brought Marcel into the story, saying that Alan
Lansbury, the producer of In Search Of had hosted a party to
which Johnson was invited. He said, "This Major was going to be
there, the one from Roswell." I asked, naturally, "Marcel?" Again
it might be seen as coaching the witness, though Johnson already
knew the name. He just couldn't think of it at that moment.

"Is he the one that got the..." I interrupted to say, "He was the
one that went out and picked up the material."

"From the rancher, yes. He heard about it in a bar and the guy
says, 'Oh, I got one of those out at the place.'"

I said, again, filling in detail, "Wait a minute. The problem is
that Mac Brazel found the thing on his ranch and he contacted the
folks at Roswell. There was a subsequent story. His son, Bill
Brazel came down to take care of the ranch because his dad was
being held at Roswell and undergoing tests or something like
that. Bill Brazel picked up some of the material. He found some
scrape of it and he was in the bar talking about it and the Air
Force came out the next day and picked it up. The fellow who came
out was a fellow named Armstrong."

"That wasn't the Major there?"


"The Major was the intelligence officer or something like that."
I said, "Okay. Marcel was the Intelligence Officer. He was the
one who went back to the ranch and picked it all up. So you met
Major Marcel." "Marcel, yes. He has a son. I saw the son
interviewed on TV recently." "Yeah," I said. "That is exactly
right. I was hoping that you have found Armstrong by mistake."

"The son said interesting things. That the father came home and
told us about the bodies and so forth. And then said that we
can't talk about it or don't tell anybody and so forth."

This confused me because to this point in my investigation, I
hadn't heard anything about Marcel and bodies. I asked, "Marcel
mentioned bodies?"

"No, the son."

My question was, quite naturally, "Marcel says that his father
mentioned bodies."

Johnson replied, "Came home and told us about it."

But the truth is, Jesse Marcel, Jr. has claimed all along that
his father never mentioned bodies at all. In fact, this has
become one of the stumbling points of the Roswell case. If there
had been a crash, the intelligence officer should have been
brought in to all aspects of it. That would mean he knew about
the bodies, yet he never mentioned a word about them, contrary to
what Johnson believed.

Having finished with that, Johnson finally said, "My interesting
part of this, having taken the picture and now going back and
looking at the picture because I didn't have a copy of it
(meaning, I suppose that he didn't have an original print but did
have the photograph as it had appeared in the newspaper in
1947)... is that I don't know whether the Air Force was pulling a
hoax or not. It looks like a kite..."

We discuss the sequence of events, and how Johnson ended up in
Ramey's office. Johnson then said, "Right. That was a hoax, I
think. That's when they called and what I saw. I think I was
duped." Note that I haven't said a thing about this aspect of the
case. Johnson himself had come to the conclusion that he had been

I agreed with his assessment. I said, "Yes. You and all the rest
of the reporters were duped."

"That we saw... that they came up with this weather balloon thing
as an added... that's my feeling. I never saw the real stuff
(emphasis added)." Again this was a spontaneous comment by
Johnson. I was trying to figure out how everything had happened
and Johnson was throwing in comments about it with no help or
coaching from me.

He continued, "Then they came out with that story almost
simultaneously afterward that the weather balloon thing..."

At this point in my investigation, having just started, I made a
basic assumption. I was aware of a quote attributed to Marcel (by
William Moore in The Roswell Incident) that suggested that if he
was in the photograph, it showed the real debris, but if it was
anyone else, then it was not the real thing. Since Marcel had
talked of reporters being present, and since Colonel Thomas
DuBose, Ramey's chief of staff in 1947, had mentioned three or
four reporters present, and, since Johnson was saying that there
had been no other reporters in Ramey's office when he was there,
I concluded that Ramey had met with the press twice. Johnson
noted that he did not attend a press conference, but had just met
Ramey in his office to take his photographs.

Johnson said that he took two pictures. One of Ramey, and one of
Ramey and DuBose. He didn't know who had taken the pictures of
Marcel and seemed to be surprised that there were pictures of him
in the file at the University of Texas. It was clear from all the
pictures that Marcel was near the same debris that Johnson had
photographed with Ramey and DuBose. In other words, and contrary
to the suggestions by William Moore, there were no photographs of
the real debris with Marcel in them, only the weather balloon
spread out on the floor in General Ramey's office.

Johnson told me, "I took two pictures and then they said, but
that time they said, 'Oh, we've found out what it is and you
know, it's a weather balloon and so forth.' No big deal. I didn't
press it. I accepted that. I was rather naive. I accepted that."

After we discussed the mechanics of transmitting stories over the
AP wire, I said, "You went back to..." Johnson interrupted to
say, "The Star-Telegram and gave them the wet prints of the
thing. They wanted them right out. I went in and developed them
and gave them wet prints. And I wrote..."

Here is an example of where it would have been better to listen.
Johnson said, "I wrote..." The implication is that he wrote the
story that he now denies he wrote. In another interview, and even
later in this first one, he would confirm this. He said, "Seven
nine [July 9] is my story on the front page that was earlier in
the day. That's when they debunked it."

And in a later interview, commenting on the article in the
newspaper, he said, "Okay, this is the article I wrote that was
on the front page on seven nine." And later still, he said, "I
went ahead and got the facts and came back and there wasn't any
other reporter who wrote it for the Star Telegram. I wrote it
that night."

So what we see is that Johnson was told that the debris on
Ramey's floor was a weather balloon and that he wrote an article
about it. That article appeared in the July 9 edition of the
Star-Telegram. These are two of the things that he claimed I got
wrong and that I refuse to change. Of course, I do have the
quotes on tape.

About a month later, I talked to Johnson again. I had had the
chance to digest the materials that had flooded in and had a
better feeling for what the situation was in Fort Worth in July
1947. I had been able to eliminate some of the material that was
obviously in error. To get a better picture, I asked, Johnson,
simply, "Could you just sort of tell me what you did... What
transpired when your editor gave you the assignment to go out to
the base."

The story he told was essentially the same as it had been during
our first conversation. He told me how the assignment had been
made, and how he had gotten out to the base. Then he said, "I
posed General Ramey with this debris piled in the middle of his
rather large and plush office. It seemed incongruous to have this
smelly garbage piled up on the floor..."

Next Johnson made the statement that he claims he never made and
that I have somehow misquoted, even when the quotes are on tape.
He said, "I posed General Ramey with this debris. At that time I
was briefed on the idea that it was not a flying disk as first
reported but in fact was a weather balloon that had crashed."

There is it, from Johnson himself, once again. Ramey told him,
there in the office, that it was nothing more than a weather
balloon. He suggests that the context of the quote is such that I
have somehow asked a question that he didn't understand. But the
quote comes about in a long narration as Johnson is telling me
what happened. I hadn't asked a question.

There are other facts that Johnson has challenged about my
stories, some of which are ridiculous. He now seems to feel that
he must discredit me because his own stories have put him into
conflict with himself. I am somehow responsible for the earlier
quotes that he doesn't believe reflect reality. Or rather, don't
reflect reality as he now misremembers it.

Johnson, for example, claims today that I called him cold. That I
did not provide him with any copies of photos or other materials
to refresh his memory. That, because of this, he was confused
when he spoke to me. Of course, had I given him the materials he
suggests that I should have, that would be coaching the witness.

But the point is irrelevant. I found Johnson because I was
attempting to locate copies of the pictures that were taken in
General Ramey's office. I found Johnson because he had done the
same thing and had already received those pictures. And, in our
very first interview, he was talking about the article that
appeared in the Star-Telegram that he said, at that time, he had
written. In other words, he already had copies of everything that
I could have sent him, had I been inclined to do so. He already
had the material to refresh his memory.

And, I couldn't have called him cold as he claims because I
didn't know who he was. Betsy Hudon sent my letter on to him to
allow him to initiate the contact, which he did. Without a first
call from him to me, there would have been no contact. When he
did call, he was already well aware of the subject. He now says,
in direct conflict with what he said a number of times in
different interviews, that he insisted there was no balloon in
General Ramey's office when we talked. He claims that I insisted
there was, arguing with him. His own photographs, however, prove
him wrong because the balloon is visible in the photographs.

He now claims that he didn't write the article that appeared in
the newspaper the next day, but only after claiming to me, on
tape that he did. The problem he has with it today is what it
says. If General Ramey didn't know what the debris was, it would
have been reflected in the article. It is not. The last paragraph
of the article is the deadly one. It said, "After his first look,
Ramey declared all it was was a weather balloon. The weather
officer verified his view." This is, of course, in direct
conflict with what Johnson claims today, but more importantly, if
he wrote the story, it verifies my version of the first

Johnson has also claimed that he had tried, without success, to
get me to correct some of the inaccurate quotations I have
attributed to him. But the problem is not me. I did talk to him
about this after he changed his story. I read his quotes to him
from my transcripts. He denied that he would say anything like
that because it wasn't true. He couldn't remember what he had
said, just that it couldn't be true.

I sent him a tape so he could hear what he said. I sent him a
tape so that he would understand that he would say those sorts of
things because he had said those sorts of things. He provided no
answer to me except to suggest that, if he had said some of the
things, he had spoken in error when we talked.

The truth is I wrote letters to him on February 14, 1991,
February 16, 1991 and August 4, 1991, asking him specific
questions about his allegations. On the fourteenth, for example,
I wrote, "In reviewing my tapes, I learned a couple of other
things that are at odds with what you are now saying. On the
tape, you said, "...See, I went there not as a reporter but there
was not anybody else there. I went ahead and got the facts and
came back and there wasn't any other reporter who wrote it for
the Star-Telegram on that night. I wrote that that night.'" Those
are his words, not mine.

I also noted in that letter, "You might well ask how we know
which article you wrote. On the tape you say, 'Okay, this is the
article that I wrote that was on the front page on seven nine
(July 9, 1947) and says, 'Disc-overy Near Roswell Identified As
Weather Balloon by FWAAF Officer,' and it's quite a long
article.'" That is the article that ends with the quote that
Ramey identified it immediately.

On the sixteenth, I sent him copies of the tapes. I pointed out
that Johnson would now be able to hear himself say the things
that I had quoted him as saying. Johnson now claims that he
listened to the tapes but could never hear himself saying the
things that I claimed he said. But the tapes do verify what I
have claimed.

The August 4 letter pointed out that I had sent him the material
proving I was right. I had suggested that I was sorry if the
events as they were being played out embarrassed him, but it was
a situation that I hadn't created. And as I have noted I heard
nothing from him in response to my letters. In other words, I
called the man, I wrote the man, and I supplied copies of the
various materials he asked me to supply, and he didn't write
back. Instead, he suggests that he had tried to get me to correct
the statements without ever proving that my statements were in
error. He believes them to be in error and apparently does not
believe himself because he has heard himself make the statements
I said he made.

Johnson claims that he has been quoted by other investigators as
saying that I put words in his mouth. I challenge him to come up
with a quote that is not reflected in the tapes. I have put no
words in his mouth, but quoted his own words to him. He just
doesn't like the sound of them now as he tries to convince people
that he was the Roswell photographer.

What we have here is a man who claims to have never written
speculative articles about Roswell. Who claims he has nothing to
sell to a public eager to buy almost anything Roswell related.
Yet he bills himself as the 'Roswell Photographer' as he attempts
to pull the spotlight in his direction. He is, in reality, the
Fort Worth photographer who took several pictures of a weather
balloon in General Ramey's office.

The sad thing here is that if he had left well enough alone, if
he had just told his tale consistently through the years, he
would have something valuable to contribute to the Roswell case.
It would be valuable to hear about his interaction with General
Ramey, even if, during that interaction, he learned that the
material was a balloon. But for Johnson, that isn't good enough.
Now, he must claim that I misquoted him so that he can boost his
importance. Unfortunately for him, the tapes exist. Even sadder,
he has copies of them but he apparently won't listen to what he
has to say.

Some of the important quotes:

Johnson alleged that he had never suggested that it was a weather
balloon or that he learned that in General Ramey's office. But
here is what he said: Johnson (February 27, 1989): "So they came
up with this weather balloon thing as an 'added'... that's my
feeling and that I never saw the real stuff. So that would be my
feeling now... Then they came out with that story almost
simultaneously afterwards... the weather balloon thing."

Johnson (February 27, 1989): "That's all that I think was there.
I took the two pictures and then they said, by that time they
said, 'Oh we've figured it out now what it is... it's a weather
balloon and so forth and no big deal so I didn't press it. I
accepted it. I was rather naive and accepted it."

Johnson now claims that I called him cold, but the truth is, he
knew about me and what I was researching. Listen carefully, as I
explain it to him, and he says that it was what he had been told
as well: Randle and Johnson (February 27, 1989:

KDR: Interesting you should ask because some other guy had called
     to ask about those and he said he was the photographer. I
     said, "Oh, I need his name." She said, "Well I really don't
     feel right about giving it to you.

JBJ: Yeah, that's what she told me.

KDR: I said, "Call I send you a letter and you can mail it to him
     and that way if he wants to contact me, it's his option."
     She said that she would be happy to do that. So, I've been
     waiting to hear from you and get that list from her. This
     was in January that I was doing this.

Johnson claims that he didn't write a story about the events, but
here is what he said about that:

Johnson: (February 27, 1989): "Seven nine [July 9] is my story on
         the front page that was in earlier that day. That's when
         they debunked it." [He then reads from his story].

And again, so there can be no confusion, here is what Johnson
said about the timing of the announcement that they had a weather
balloon: Johnson (March 24, 1989): "It seemed incongruous to have
this smelly garbage piled up on the floor... spread out on the
floor of this rather plush, big office that was probably, oh, 16
by 20. I posed General Ramey with this debris. At that time I was
briefed on the idea that it was not a flying disk as first
reported but in fact was a weather balloon that had crashed."

In case it wasn't clear that he wrote the story, that his wording
was vague, here is what he said about it later:

Johnson: (March 24, 1989): "Do you have the articles from the
         Fort Worth Star-Telegram dated seven nine?" [July 9].

KDR: "No, I have nothing from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

JBJ: This is the article that I wrote. It was on the front page
     on seven nine and it says "Disc-overy Near Roswell
     Identified As Weather Balloon by FWAAF Officer." And it's
     quite a long article and that was my story...

And where did Johnson get the facts for the article? He tells

Johnson (March 24, 1989): It's entirely possible that I was
        briefed by the PIO. Probably was. Because those facts
        track with my story.


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