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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 30

Roswell Incident Recalled By Vet Who Was There

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 11:17:39 -0400
Archived: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 11:17:39 -0400
Subject: Roswell Incident Recalled By Vet Who Was There

Source: North County Times - Escondido,California, USA


Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Truth Is Out There: Roswell Incident Recalled By Local Vet
Who Was There 60 Years Ago

By: Gary Warth - Staff Writer

Something happened in Roswell, New Mexico, 60 years ago this

In June or early July 1947, a farmer found strange debris while
working on a ranch about 70 miles north of Roswell. He put some
of it in a box and drove to the local sheriff. Neither man knew
what to make of it, so the sheriff called Roswell Army Air
Field, which sent two men to investigate.

On July 9, 1947, the Roswell Daily Record, a newspaper, printed
a story with the alarming headline: "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer
On Ranch in Roswell Region."

Other than those facts, there appear to be few things people
agree on regarding what has become known as "the Roswell

Six decades later, competing UFO enthusiasts promote their own
theories, skeptics dismiss the spaceship claims as outrageous,
and the military, which originally claimed all the fuss was over
a weather balloon, now sticks to its story that it was an
experimental spy craft.

Escondido resident Milton Sprouse, 85, said he knows what
happened in Roswell ---- not because he favors one theory over
another, but because he was there.

As for the outrageous stories of mysterious metal, alien corpses
and a military coverup?

It's all true, he said.

From atom bombs to flying saucers

Before arriving at Roswell Army Air Field in 1945 as a corporal
and engine mechanic, Sprouse already had participated in an
undisputable historic event.

As a member of the 393rd Bomb Squadron assigned to the 509th
Composite Group, Sprouse worked on the ground crew of Big Stink,
one of the B-29 bombers stationed on the Pacific island of
Tinian, where the two atomic bomb missions on Japan were
launched to end World War II.

After the war, the 509th Composite Group was reassigned to
Roswell, where they were renamed the 509th Bomb Wing. Sprouse
continued to lead the ground crew of Big Stink, which had been
renamed Dave's Dream after the pilot.

"There was nothing there but tumbleweeds blowing for miles," he
said about arriving at Roswell in November 1945.

Sprouse first learned that something odd was going on at Roswell
after returning from a three-day trip to Florida aboard Dave's

"I was there the day they announced a UFO had crashed," he said.
"The next day, it was published in the Roswell Daily Record, and
that night, all the generals said the story was untrue."

Farmer William "Mac" Brazel had found debris on the J.B. Foster
Ranch, where he was a foreman, sometime in June or early July.
Brazel took some of the material, which reportedly included
sticks, rubber strips, metallic foil and sturdy paper, to
Sheriff George Wilcox, who called the air base.

Intelligence Officer Jesse Marcel was sent to the sheriff's
station. Marcel reported what he saw to Air Force commanding
officer Col. William Blanchard, who told him to go with Brazel
to the ranch and examine the crash site.

After spending the night at the ranch, Marcel and another
officer loaded their vehicles with debris, some of which
reportedly was marked with mysterious symbols, and drove back to
the base. Blanchard then ordered a press release stating that
the base had captured a flying saucer.

The original story ran in the local paper July 8. That same day,
the debris was loaded onto a B-29 and sent with Marcel to an Air
Force base in Texas. Marcel was photographed with what was said
to be the debris, and the military issued a statement saying
that it was in fact a weather balloon.

Search for the truth

Meanwhile, Sprouse said, all copies of the Roswell newspaper
were collected by officers, and hundreds of men from the 509th
were taken to the crash site and told to walk shoulder-to-
shoulder through the field, looking for debris pieces.

Sprouse himself did not go because he was told he was needed for
Dave's Dream, but five men from his ground crew went to the

"They said it was out of this world," Sprouse said about what
the crew reported finding. Among the objects it reported seeing
was a metallic foil that, when crumpled, unfolded without a

But what was the debris? Was it really something from another
world, or just the product of overactive imaginations fueled by
the monotony of a desolate 1950s desert town?

One thing that is agreed upon now: It was not from a weather

In 1995, after years of questions about the incident, the U.S.
Air Force admitted the weather-balloon story was fabricated to
cover up a top-secret project called Project Mogul designed to
detect atomic activity over the Soviet Union with high-altitude

Some of the launches in the project contained more than two
dozen neoprene balloons strung across more than 600 feet.

Charles Moore, a Project Mogul scientist interviewed in the Air
Force report, has spoken in public about the project and
described striking similarities to what was found at the ranch
outside of Roswell and the Project Mogul material, which used
sticks, metallic paper and strangely marked tape.

The strange markings that had seemed like cosmic hieroglyphics
may have had a much more mundane explanation: Moore said the
project used tape made at a toy factory.

The balloons were launched in June and July 1947 from Alamogordo
Army Air Field in New Mexico. One flight was launched June 4 and
tracked to Arabela, N.M., about 17 miles from the Foster ranch,
before its batteries ran down and contact was lost.

More questions

But if the debris did come from a Project Mogul craft, how could
a string of balloons create the types of gouges on the ground
some witnesses have reported?

Then again, maybe there were no gouges; skeptics of the UFO
theory have noted that some witnesses changed their stories
about what they saw on the crash site.

The Project Mogul explanation also does not address why some
people reported seeing alien bodies at the site. Those were
explained in another report in 1997 that concluded the bodies
actually were anthropomorphic dummies used to test high-altitude

UFO believers found the explanation a little too convenient.
There also was a timing problem, as the parachute tests were not
conducted until the 1950s. The timing discrepancy has been
explained as the result of people who over the years confused
the two incidents and compressed memories of them into one

Sprouse, however, said he recalls people speaking about "alien
bodies" immediately after the debris discovery.

"They took the bodies to a hangar, and there were two guards at
each door with machine guns," he said.

Sprouse said one witness, a barracksmate, was an emergency-room
medic who reported seeing what he called "humanoid" bodies in
the hospital.

"They went to the ER room and two doctors and two nurses were
called in, and they dissected two of those humanoid bodies," he
said. "Then the doctors and nurses were transferred.

"My friend said he saw the bodies, and I believed him," Sprouse
said. "He said, 'We don't think the humanoid ate food.' I don't
know why he said that. The digestive system wasn't designed for
food or something."

Like the other doctors and nurses, Sprouse said, his friend
suddenly was transferred, and he never heard from him again.
Others on the base, however, kept the story alive.

"I heard it so many times, it had to be true," he said.

Sprouse said he knew Marcel, but he never spoke to him after the

"From that day on, I could never get close to him," he said.

The story lives on

After the story about the UFO crash was retracted, the rest of
the world largely forgot about Roswell and accepted that what
had been discovered was just a misidentified weather balloon.

The men stationed at the base, however, did not easily forget.

"They were still talking about it when I left, and I left in
'56," Sprouse said.

In 1978, Marcel was interviewed by a researcher and appeared in
a documentary, "UFOs Are Real," the following year. The National
Enquirer interviewed Marcel in 1980 for an article in which he
said the woodlike debris could not be burned and the thin metal
could not be bent. "The Roswell Incident" was released in 1980
as the first of a string of books on the subject.

As interest grew in the Roswell UFO incident, so did the number
of detractors. Some have questioned Marcel's credibility, saying
he got caught up in UFO hysteria and was known to exaggerate his
own military past.

Jesse Marcel, Jr. published his own book this year, "The Roswell
Legacy," defending his father, who died in 1986.

Sprouse has not kept up with all the books and documentaries on
Roswell and did not go to Roswell in July for the 60th
anniversary of the discovery.

He does, however, attend annual reunions with the 509th, which
attracts 25 to 30 veterans.

"The Roswell incident comes up every year, but there's nothing
really new," he said.

Sprouse also speaks about his experience at Tinian to about five
high schools a year, and he often is invited to speak to other
groups. He usually ends his talk with his memories of Roswell,
often to the surprise of his audience.

At a talk in Tucson, Ariz., earlier this year, Sprouse said a
man came up to him afterwards and said, "I don't believe a damn
thing you said."

"I told him, 'You can believe what you want, but I know it's
true,'" Sprouse said.

Contact staff writer Gary Warth at:

760-740-5410 or gwarth.nul

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