Shortly after 1 PM on the afternoon of July 8, 1947, a silver, Boeing B-29 “Super Fortress” bomber taxied up to the Flight Operations Building at Roswell Army Air Field. This was no ordinary flight, even by RAAF standards [the RAAF at the time was home to the 509th Bomb Group - the only such unit in the world then capable of delivering the atomic bomb as its weapon of choice]. This flight had been personally ordered-up by none other than Col. William H. “Butch” Blanchard, Commanding Officer of the 509th. It’s command crew was not one of the regular crews chosen from the 509th’s three constituent bomb squadrons on the base: the 393rd, the 715th or the 830th. Instead of the usual cast of young lieutenants and captains, this flight was to be commanded by lieutenant colonels, including the Roswell Deputy Base Commander himself [just below Blanchard in the RAAF depth-chart], two majors and a captain – all from Blanchard’s close staff. The enlistees on-board were all experienced, senior NCOs – tech sergeants and master sergeants – not the usual mixture of privates, corporals, staff sergeants and such who were included as a matter of course in “normal” crews. The flight was booked to go all the way to Wright Field in Ohio [Wright Field would later combine with Patterson Airport to form Wright-Patterson Air Force Base] after a stop at Fort Worth Army Air Field in Fort Worth, Texas. Carswell was Headquarters to the 8th Air Force under the command of Gen. Roger M. Ramey, under whom Col. Blanchard and the 509th Bomb Group directly served.
This flight was to have a “special guest” on-board, Maj. Jesses A. Marcel, the Intelligence Officer of the 509th at Roswell. Or rather, Maj. Marcel was carrying “something special” to “higher headquarters” on the orders of Col. Blanchard. Marcel had just returned from a two-day field-trip to the high-desert of Lincoln County, NM where he had encountered a sheep-pasture full of strange, shattered, aluminum-foil-like debris [he would later describe its provenance as being, "not of this earth"] and brought as much of it back to Roswell with him as he could fit into his car. He didn’t even have time to clean himself up or change his dusty uniform and shoes when he was ordered onto the flight.
Only minutes after the one-hour flight from Roswell had touched down in Fort Worth, Gen. Ramey announced to the world that a “flying saucer” had not been recovered by Maj. Marcel and the elite 509th command at Roswell, merely the misidentified remains of a common, rubber, weather balloon and a kite-like, tin-foil, radar target. To seal the verdict, several pictures were taken of both Maj. Marcel and Gen. Ramey [by himself and with his Chief of Staff, Col. Thomas DuBose], each posing with these mundane items on the carpeted floor of the General’s office. To “gild the lily”, the base weather officer, W.O. Irving Newton, was brought in to identify the remains [which he did, as a weather balloon and a Rawin-type radar target] and to pose with it for a picture. A few of these pictures were then placed on the wire services and picked up by many newspapers across the land the next day as the answer to the previous day’s excitement that had so unexpectedly captured the fancy of the nation and the world. The giant, sucking sound then heard in and around Fort Worth was the air going out of a big, big news story as General Ramey “emptied Roswell’s saucer”. Fade to black. End of story.
Background and Context
Not quite, as we all now know. Thanks to Maj. Marcel’s going public with the story [or at least, we now believe, parts of it] in 1978 and thereafter up until his death in 1986, the so-called, “Roswell Incident” has become the most famous and most thoroughly investigated UFO case of all time. And the investigation continues still as we head into a new century and a new millennium. The authors agreed in May of 1998 to collaborate and to continue a proactive field investigation of the Roswell case as long as they felt that there were witnesses still left to interview and for as long as their financial resources permit. Since May of 1998, the authors have conducted seven research trips to New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California. This article represents the partial results of new information obtained from these trips as well as from numerous interviews conducted, both before and after May of 1998, of participants involved in the Marcel flight. It focuses on one particular flight – the one out of Roswell to Fort Worth, Texas on the afternoon of July 8th, 1947 and how it may help to answer some controversial issues that have arisen in the last few years concerning the famous [some say, infamous] July 8th 1947 news conference held by Gen. Ramey which spiked further press interest in the Roswell case for over thirty years.
As readers of the IUR familiar with the Roswell events of 1947 will recall, there would appear to be little doubt as to what was photographed for posterity on the floor of Gen. Ramey’s office on the afternoon of July 8th, 1947 as the answer to the screaming headlines of the day, “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region”. In the six [of seven] photographs that investigators have access to that were taken in Gen. Ramey’s office on that afternoon [two of Maj. Marcel, two of Gen. Ramey by himself, two of Gen. Ramey with his Chief of Staff, Col. Thomas DuBose, and one of W.O. Irving Newton, Fort Worth's weather officer], all show these gentlemen posing with what appears to be a “weather balloon” [actually, the main focus of these pictures is the paper-backed, tinfoil radar target with the blackened, rubber, weather balloon assuming a secondary, if not peripheral, position]. That all seven pictures show the subjects posing with the same device can be confirmed by matching up the contoured edges of individual, torn pieces of tinfoil in each of the pictures. And weather officer Newton positively identified what he saw and posed with as a weather balloon of a type commonly used at the time. Pretty simple logic that works for us
Since that day, however, much confusion and contention has arisen over just what the pictures, taken in Gen. Ramey’s office so long ago, actually show. Do they really show a weather balloon, as Gen. Ramey originally stated [and as W.O. Newton corroborated]? Or are they parts from a then top-secret, balloon project, as the Air Force now contends? Or could they be, as some Roswell investigators have asserted, the real deal – pieces of the actual debris that Marcel found the previous day on the Brazel ranch and brought back – first to Roswell and then on to Fort Worth – that are pictured? In other words, wreckage from a flying saucer?
In trying to explain the meaning of the July 8th Ramey press conference and especially the pictures taken during it, William Moore, co-author with Charles Berlitz of The Roswell Incident  and contributing researcher, Stanton Friedman, relied on the apparent testimony of Maj. Jesse Marcel and originally concluded that the real debris from the crash site retrieved by Marcel [and by CIC Capt. Sheridan Cavitt who had accompanied Marcel to the Brazel ranch] had been switched after the pictures of Marcel posing with it had been taken. Unfortunately for the readers at the time, the photo of Marcel in the book was severely cropped to try to conform to Marcel’s alleged statement that the picture showed him holding some of the “less interesting” debris. The pictures taken later in Ramey’s office – those of Ramey, DuBose and Newton – according to Marcel, were all “staged” photos [meaning that they did not show the real debris] and only showed the officers posing with a substituted weather balloon. Moore’s and Friedman’s investigation at the time had also interviewed Col. [later, General] Thomas DuBose who confirmed that the weather balloon story had been a complete fabrication designed to “to get the press off Ramey’s back”, and that Ramey’s superior in Washington, Gen. Clements McMullen [Deputy Commander of SAC], had ordered that the debris from the Brazel ranch be flown from Roswell to Wright [-Patterson] Field in Ohio for proper examination. Warrant Officer [later, Major] Irving Newton had also been interviewed by Moore/Friedman, and he again confirmed that what he saw and posed with in Gen. Ramey’s office was indeed nothing more than a common, weather balloon and a torn-up, tinfoil radar target. Perhaps still hedging their bets on the alleged switch, however, The Roswell Incident, showed only a severely cropped picture of Ramey and DuBose posing with the weather balloon which looked very similar to the one in the cropped Marcel picture. There is no picture of Newton in the book.
By the late 1980′s, after a number of update papers, Moore’s investigative pursuit of Roswell was just about out of gas. He and Friedman had gone their separate ways with Moore and obscure documentary producer, Jaime Shandera, starting a UFO publishing enterprise called the “Fair Witness Project” [now defunct] while Friedman would soon team with aviation writer, Don Berliner, concentrating his efforts on the so-called “MJ-12 Papers” as well as research for their own book on Roswell. A new Roswell investigative team also made their appearance on the scene. Kevin Randle, a professional writer, and Donald Schmitt, Director of Special Investigations at CUFOS ["R/S"], began looking into the Roswell case and, in the process, breathed new life and energy back into a clearly flagging investigation. Two of three of these newly aligned teams [Randle/Schmitt and Friedman/Berliner] at first agreed for the ultimate good of the investigation to pool information and to coordinate and cooperate with each other as the investigation(s) progressed. Such cooperation – to combine resources – it was reasonably felt, was the most efficient and cost-effective way to proceed with the investigation. Anyone who has been in this “business”, however, can guess the outcome of such a noble endeavor. To be sure, this “era of cooperation” among the teams investigating Roswell did not last very long. If you blinked your eyes, you missed it.
It wasn’t very long until Moore became upset and threatened to sue everyone because he was not consulted [as was R/S and Friedman] in the production of a 1989 segment on the popular TV show, Unsolved Mysteries, which featured the “Roswell Incident”. At this time, Moore and Shandera started attacking the R/S investigation of Roswell as incompetent and illegal. Again, a lawsuit was threatened. After a series of rebuttal articles by R/S in the early 1990′s refuting the charges as well as the their new Roswell claims, Moore and Shandera disappeared from the Roswell scene and have not been heard from since.
Cooperation between R/S and Friedman/Berliner was short-circuited by the appearance in late 1990 of a claimed eyewitness to the alleged crash of a flying saucer on the Plains of San Agustin in 1947. His name was Gerald Anderson, and he claimed to have been five years old at the time of the 1947 crash. His recall of that long ago day was truly unbelievable in its detail. In short, R/S believed that he was a hoaxer [and still believe it to this day], while Friedman/Berliner thought at first that he was legitimate. End of cooperation. Friedman and Berliner later issued a statement of no confidence in the veracity of Anderson, but in recent times, Friedman seems to have dusted him off for use as a witness again in his presentations.
This information has been given to the reader in order to provide the context that fostered the state of confusion regarding the provenance of the remains photographed on the floor of Gen. Ramey’s office in 1947.
By the late 1980′s, Maj. Marcel was dead, but R/S were able to re-interview a number of the witnesses first interviewed by Moore and/or Friedman ten years earlier, including retired General DuBose [now deceased] who was nearing 90 years old at the time but who was still able to confirm the balloon cover-up story for them. Retired Major Irving Newton, the base weather officer, also reaffirmed his 1947 observation of a weather balloon and Rawin-type, radar target on the floor of Ramey’s office. After identifying Maj. Charles Cashon, Gen. Ramey’s PIO, as the likely photographer who took the pictures of Maj. Marcel and W.O. Newton, R/S’s attempted interview of him was cut short when Cashon refused to talk about the 1947 events. R/S were successful, however, in locating and interviewing the only other known living participant of the goings on at the Ramey press conference that day – the photographer sent there by the Fort Worth Star- Telegram to cover the “press conference” – J. Bond Johnson. In a 1989-recorded interview, Johnson told Randle that when he arrived at Gen. Ramey’s office, all he saw was a “pile of junk” [i.e., the weather balloon + radar target] on the floor accompanied by the pungent smell of burnt rubber that permeated the air. This was the flying saucer that he was told to photograph? How “deflating” and disappointing it must have been for Johnson, or anybody else, for that matter. According to him, Gen. Ramey said that it was the remains of a weather balloon as he was posing Ramey for the photo shoot. Johnson told Randle that he never saw Marcel, Newton, other reporters or any debris other than the weather balloon during his time in Ramey’s office. Accepting the weather balloon explanation at face value, Johnson did not ask any questions. He simply finished his shoot and returned to the newspaper where he would develop his photographs and supply two of them to the AP for wire-transmission throughout the country [it was Johnson's photographs of Ramey and Ramey+DuBose that were featured in newspapers across the country in the following days].
During the 1990-91 timeframe, Moore and Shandera published several papers attacking the competence of the Randle/Schmitt investigation of the Roswell case. They also accused them of plagiarizing Moore’s previous work when it was learned that R/S were writing their own book on the case. In an attempt at finding a new niche and perhaps undermining the credibility of the R/S investigation at the same time, Moore and Shandera resurrected and re-floated a theme first put forth in The Roswell Incident, namely that the photographs of Marcel taken in Gen. Ramey’s office on July 8th, 1947 actually showed the real debris retrieved by Maj. Marcel from the Brazel ranch – debris from a flying saucer – and not the remains of a weather balloon.
Suspension of Disbelief
To accomplish this, Moore and Shandera went back to a statement attributed to Marcel in The Roswell Incidentwherein he [Marcel] alleged that he had been posed with the actual debris after which it was switched with a weather balloon for the “staged” photos of Gen. Ramey, Col. DuBose and W.O. Newton taken later. By this time, however, the un-cropped photographs taken of Marcel, Ramey et al. had become widely circulated, and it was apparent that all showed these men posing with the same debris – that of a decaying, rubber, weather balloon and a torn-up, tinfoil, radar-target. But now, Moore and Shandera were taking it one step farther by claiming that, not only the Marcel photograph, but all of the Fort Worth photographs showed the real debris – from a flying saucer. To suggest to a reasonable person that the debris shown in any of these pictures represents the remains of an interplanetary spacecraft requires the invocation of a theatrical technique known as the, “suspension of disbelief”, where the audience discounts what it sees or senses and knows to be true – e.g., a live actor playing a ghost that the audience sees but the other actors on stage pretend that they do not – for the benefit of the story. Such a technique must have been in the minds of Moore/Shandera regarding the Fort Worth photographs.
But what of Marcel’s statement that he was holding a piece the real wreckage in those pictures? Either Marcel was lying, mistaken or was misquoted. It is hard to believe that Marcel, a former intelligence officer who was known as “straight-shooter” by everyone we have ever interviewed, would consciously concoct something that could so easily be refuted by merely by looking at a photograph. More likely, he was either mistaken about some of the events that took place so long ago and how he remembered them or misquoted, or both. Maj. Marcel had also been interviewed a number of times by Stanton Friedman early on and never mentioned photographs showing spaceship remains. Also, as reported by R/S in a 1990 IUR article, Len Stringfield who interviewed Marcel in 1978 went on record by stating, “If there had been pictures of actual debris available, I’m sure that he [Marcel] would have mentioned them – he never did.” R/S also point out in the same article that TV reporter, Johnny Mann interviewed Marcel shortly after The Roswell Incident hit the bookstores in 1980. Mann, who had seen a copy of the full picture of Marcel posed with the weather balloon debris, confronted Marcel with the cropped version in The Roswell Incident. Marcel’s response upon seeing it was immediate, “No. No. That picture was staged. That’s not the stuff I brought home.” [This was also confirmed years later by Marcel's son who saw the debris from the Brazel ranch that his father had shown him and his mother on his way back to Roswell.] Marcel told Mann that all of the pictures taken in Fort Worth were, “staged by Ramey for the benefit of the press.” According to Mann, Marcel told him that photographs of the real debris were in fact taken, but those photos had been taken in Roswell – not in Fort Worth. Clearly, that Marcel was photographed in Fort Worth holding pieces of spaceship wreckage, was news to him. Confirming this scenario is the former RAAF PIO who put out the infamous flying saucer press release, Walter Haut, who told R/S in the same article, “As soon as he [Marcel] returned from Fort Worth, he complained that he was ordered to be photographed in the staged balloon pictures while in Ramey’s office.” The final nail in this coffin came from Moore’s own notes on the matter which had earlier been supplied to R/S for their review when the latter had challenged the Marcel quotes. Contradictory and in several “versions”, R/S concluded that Marcel had indeed been misquoted in The Roswell Incident when it came to the Fort Worth photographs. We agree.
In an attempt to try to bolster their case, Moore and Shandera re-interviewed two witnesses. The late, retired Gen. Thomas DuBose is on record any number of times as confirming the orchestrated cover-up of the Roswell events by the higher-ups in Washington. He also confirmed the balloon cover-story as put out by his immediate superior, Gen. Ramey. His testimony has been audiotaped and videotaped and can be listened to, viewed or read by anyone today. After twice being interviewed in 1990 by Jaime Shandera, however, DuBose seemed to have “flipped” in his testimony – at least that is the way Moore and Shandera portrayed it. DuBose now seemed to be saying that the photographs taken in Gen Ramey’s office, the ones with Marcel, Ramey, himself and Newton, all showed the real debris – the debris that Marcel had brought back from the Brazel ranch. In other words, there had been no switch between the real debris and the weather balloon debris as had been alleged in The Roswell Incident. The pictures, therefore, showed the remains of a spaceship. A careful reading of the Shandera-DuBose interview which appeared in the January, 1991MUFON UFO Journal, however, clearly indicates that DuBose was confused as to which flight from Roswell Shandera was talking about, and that Shandera himself was confused about the flights. DuBose’s statements also appear to be misinterpreted to reach the conclusion that Moore and Shandera intended. R/S offered to listen to the interview in an attempt to sort it all out, but Shandera told them that it had not been recorded. Later that year, in September, 1991, Gen. DuBose signed a sworn a affidavit which reads in part, “The material shown in the photographs taken in Gen, Ramey’s office was a weather balloon. The weather balloon explanation for the material was a cover story to divert the attention of the press.” Reporter Billy Cox of USA Today would also sign a statement verifying the DuBose affidavit, thus putting to rest Moore’s and Shandera’s alleged claims regarding this witness’ testimony. DuBose died in 1992.
“I Photographed a Flying Saucer”
J. Bond Johnson, the Fort Worth-Star Telegram reporter who took four of the seven known photographs taken in Gen. Ramey’s office on July 8th, 1947, had been found and interviewed by R/S in January, February and March of 1989. By the end of that year, Johnson had curiously “flipped” from his prior testimony of photographing a weather balloon on the floor of Gen. Ramey’s office and being told by Gen. Ramey himself that it was in fact a weather balloon. Johnson was now suggesting that he had photographed the real debris from the Brazel ranch – the remains of a flying saucer – and that Gen Ramey, when asked by Johnson about the debris, told him, “I don’t know what it is.” R/S were clearly puzzled and dismayed by this turn of events. Why had Johnson changed his story? The answer would come in a July, 1990 conversation that Don Schmitt had with Shandera during which Shandera claimed to have a “new star witness” who would “blow them [R/S] out of the water”. In a Focus article, the “new star witness” turned out to be none other than J. Bond Johnson – complete with the revised, “I photographed a flying saucer”, story. If DuBose were the “Kryptonite”, then Johnson would be the “Silver Bullet” to sink the R/S investigation once and for all. R/S stated their beliefs at the time as, “Once they introduced their star witness, [they believed that] our attempts to report about Roswell would end.” When confronted with the information that R/S had tapes and transcripts of Johnson saying something else, Shandera refused to listen. Unknown to R/S at the time, this was to be Moore and Shandera’s last gasp, as they would disappear from the Roswell landscape shortly thereafter never to return. R/S went on to publish two major books on Roswell, one of which was made into an award-nominated motion picture.
For his part, J. Bond Johnson, by a combination of “stonewalling” [regarding his original taped conversations with Randle] and invoking the time-honored, theatrical technique of “suspension of disbelief” [regarding the obvious balloon remains pictured in the Fort Worth photographs], continues to tell whomever will listen or visit his website that he really photographed the remains of a flying saucer. As R/S stated in their article, for any interpretation of the events that took place in Gen. Ramey’s office in 1947 – no matter which side of the issue one comes down on – J. Bond Johnson, by changing his story, has rendered himself worthless as a witness. Readers may recall James Mason’s character, defense lawyer Robert Concannon, in the 1986 Paul Newman movie, The Verdict, who sternly admonishes a surprise witness who has appeared in court bearing a photocopy of a document that is different from the original to which she had signed her name, “Were you lying then, or are you lying now?” This is not meant to accuse Johnson of lying, but merely to point out how he would be dealt with under cross examination by any lawyer in a court of law were he called upon to testify for his cause. Your witness, your Honor.
Project Mogul – Refuge for Debunkers
The current position of the Air Force regarding the “Roswell Incident” as stated in their reports of 1994 and 1995 is that the debris found on the Brazel ranch which was brought back to Roswell by Maj. Marcel was nothing more than the remains from a then TOP SECRET balloon project, “Project Mogul” which must have fallen to earth southeast of Corona, NM after being launched from Alamogordo on June 4, 1947 [this is the launch that mogulists, fishing for a date that might work, point to as being the one]. Taking it to the next step, it must have been pieces of such a device, then, that were displayed and photographed in Gen. Ramey’s office on July 8th, 1947. Using the Air Force’s logic, there was no switch from the real debris to a weather balloon in the Roswell timeline as had been suggested inThe Roswell Incident. The real debris was a “Project Mogul” balloon-train all along, and this is what we see in the Fort Worth photographs today.
“Project Mogul” was a failed project that attempted to detect Soviet nuclear detonations by means of constant-level, balloon-borne, acoustic sensors. There were a lot of nutty, military-backed projects going on right after World War II, and “Project Mogul” was one of them – so great was our country’s fear of the military capabilities of our former ally, the Soviet Union, at that time. However, as the explanation for the Roswell events of July 1947, “Project Mogul” falls far short of the mark.
There is nothing to connect a Mogul balloon-train to Roswell save the reed-thin memory of Charles B. Moore, one of the project members back in 1947. Why he would remember the Mogul launch of June 4, 1947, specifically, apart from all the other launches is still a mystery. Further, the diary of another project member, Dr. Albert Crary, suggests that the June 4th launch was scrubbed due to bad weather, meaning that the balloons were jettisoned without their payloads – thus, there were no tinfoil, radar targets aboard to stupefy intelligence officers. For the “Mogul Theory” to work, you have to throw away completely the testimonies of literally hundreds of first-, second- and third-hand witnesses who have testified to the extraordinary nature of the Roswell events. The witness list includes many first-hand eyewitnesses who saw and/or held pieces of the crash remains in their hands and told of the unusual qualities they possessed – qualities not present in Mogul balloon-trains [e.g., the indestructible "memory metal" described by a number of witnesses that would flow or flatten out to its original shape without a crease after being wadded-up]. These witnesses are all said by mogulists to be hoaxers, liars, would-be actors, and confabulators, while Charles B. Moore, apparently alone among witnesses, is beyond reproach. See, “suspension of disbelief”, above.
Along with Charlie Moore, the other linchpin of the “Mogul Theory” is a newspaper article that appeared in the Roswell Daily Record on the afternoon of July 9th, 1947. In it, Mack Brazel, the sheep rancher who found the strange debris in a pasture on his ranch and took some of it to Roswell, described the nature of the debris. His description, read today, sounds a lot like a Mogul-type balloon, complete with sticks, tinfoil and flowery tape! The problem with it, however, is that Brazel’s statement to the RDR was given when he was under “military detention” at the RAAF. A combination of military personnel and cooperating “friendlies” provided an “escort” for Brazel at the time of this statement, a statement which he himself disavowed at the end of the very article in question. Left on his own recognizance, both before and after his “arrest”, Brazel told quite a different story to family and friends, which is one of the reasons we are here. So much for Project Mogul. No matter how much arcane minutia we are fed about the intricacies of Project Mogul, it doesn’t bring it any closer to being the answer to Roswell. [For a more in-depth analysis of the short-comings of the "Project Mogul Hypothesis", the reader is directed to an article by the lead writer, "Tales of a Traditor", which appeared in the IUR, v. 23, No. 1, Spring, 1998, pp. 20-26.]
Flight to Fort Worth
The July 8th, 1947 flight was the second flight transporting the Brazel wreckage out of Roswell “heading east” since the beginning of le affaire Roswell. The first flight out took place on July 6th, 1947. According to Thomas DuBose, it was ordered up by Gen. Clements McMullen, Deputy Commander of SAC, who wanted some of the original debris brought into Roswell by Mack Brazel that very day to be flown to Washington, D.C. for inspection. The flight passed through 8th Army Air Force Headquarters in Fort Worth where DuBose checked the container [a pouch] that the debris was in prior to sending it on its way to its final destination. DuBose did not view the contents of the pouch [this was the flight that Jaime Shandera was apparently unaware of when he interviewed DuBose]. Two days would pass before the next flight out.
The July 8th flight was initiated by Gen. McMullen in Washington, D.C. Its destination was scheduled to be Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio after a brief stop at 8th Air Force Headquarters in Fort Worth. In command of the flight as its pilot was Roswell’s Deputy Base Commander, Lt. Col. Payne Jennings. Also on board was Roswell’s Base Executive Officer, Lt. Col. Robert I. Barrowclough, who was second in command on the flight. Rounding out the command crew of the flight were Maj. Herb Wunderlich of the 1st Air Transport Unit [the "Green Hornets"] and Capt. William E. Anderson of the Air Base Squadron. All of the non-commissioned officers on the flight were from the 830th Bomb Squadron and included Master Sergeant Robert R. Porter who was the Crew Chief, Tech. Sergeant William A. Cross, Tech. Sergeant George M. Ades and Tech. Sergeant Sterling P. Bone. Also on this flight, as mentioned in the second paragraph, was Maj. Jesse A. Marcel who was the Base intelligence officer [S-2] at Roswell. Marcel had been ordered by Gen. McMullen, via Gen. Ramey and Col. Blanchard [Marcel's immediate superior] to accompany the material that he and Capt. Sheridan Cavitt had brought back from the Brazel ranch earlier that day. Unknown to Marcel and to most of the flight crew, the “fix was [already] in”.
What we know about this particular flight comes from interviews conducted with a small handful of first-hand witnesses who were either on the flight itself, on the ground at Roswell or on the ground at Fort Worth. By comparing and combining their testimonies, we will attempt to reach certain conclusions regarding the nature of the debris material that this flight was ferrying and how it might relate to the Ramey “press conference” as well as explain the images seen in the Fort Worth photographs.
Maj. Jesse Marcel is quoted in The Roswell Incident as saying that he accompanied “half a B-29-ful” [sic] of wreckage [the Brazel ranch debris] to Fort Worth. Upon his arrival at Fort Worth, he was ordered to bring a small sample of it to Gen. Ramey’s office so that Gen. Ramey could look at it. Then, as later related to R/S by Walter Haut [see UFO Crash at Roswell, 1991 and The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell, 1994], Marcel carried the box of debris that he had held in is lap on the flight from Roswell up to show the General. The box included the small “I-beam” that Marcel’s son would describe years later as containing undecipherable “symbols” along its inner lip. Marcel placed the box on Ramey’s desk in the main office at the General’s convenience. Ramey’s reaction upon seeing the actual debris that was causing such a fuss is unknown to us now, but an Ohio man, interviewed by Carey in 1999 and who served under Ramey at Fort Worth, overheard Ramey tell a fellow officer shortly thereafter that it was “out of this world”. Ramey then ordered Marcel into another room to point out the crash location to him on a large wall map. When they returned to the main office, Marcel said that he noticed that his box of wreckage had been removed, and remains of a weather balloon and a torn-up radar target were now in place on the floor. He was then posed for two pictures with the substituted balloon remains, after which he was told by Ramey, in effect, to get lost – he would handle everything. More pictures were taken, and Gen. Ramey was heard to loudly exclaim for the benefit of all those present in the room that the remainder of the flight [to Wright Field, Ohio] was being cancelled. What was really going on, however, was that Marcel had been abruptly removed from the flight to Wright Field and ordered by Ramey back to Roswell, while the rest of the wreckage from the B-29 was being transferred into another plane to complete the original flight plan. The resumption of this flight was also confirmed by the local FBI office in Dallas, Texas in their now widely circulated telegram dated 6:17 PM CST, July 8th, 1947. Marcel returned to Roswell the following day complaining to Lt. Walter Haut about the “staged event” in Fort Worth in which he felt that he had, unfortunately and unwittingly, played a part.
The only other flight member on the July 8th flight to Fort Worth to be interviewed to date [the rest are either known to be dead or have not been located] was the Flight Engineer, retired Master Sergeant, Robert R. Porter. The brother of Loretta Proctor who was Mack Brazel’s closest neighbor in 1947, Porter was first interviewed in 1979 for The Roswell Incident. He confirmed the extraordinary security measures that surrounded that particular flight by stating that, “… whatever was in the cargo hold was escorted by an armed guard which had been assigned to it at Roswell.” This would seem to suggest that something extremely important or highly classified was on-board. Even though Porter had been advised by one of the officers on the flight [later identified as Capt. William E. Anderson] that the material in the cargo hold of the plane was from a “flying saucer” and that he [Porter] was not to say any more about it, Porter still wasn’t sure of its true nature – “… whether it was Brazel’s material or something else.” Although Jaimie Shandera later tried to infer otherwise, Porter made no statements in The Roswell Incident as to the amount of wreckage material on the flight. He only made reference to, “material … in the cargo hold” and nothing more. When they landed in Fort Worth, as Porter related to R/S in UFO Crash at Roswell, the officers in the crew were permitted to disembark the plane, but the enlisted personnel were told to remain on board until the plane was secured, meaning the posting of guards around it. When that was accomplished, they were permitted to go to the mess hall to eat, during which time, according to Porter, the material from his flight was transferred to another plane [a B-25] that would fly it on to Wright Field. When they returned to their B-29 after lunch for the return trip to Roswell, they were informed that the material that they had flown to Fort Worth under so much secrecy and security was a weather balloon.
A problem arises, however, when Porter was interviewed again in 1990 by Stan Friedman and R/S. Instead of transporting a large amount of debris/wreckage to Fort Worth, as stated originally by Marcel, Porter could only recall three or four shoe-box-sized packages, wrapped in brown paper, and one triangular-shaped package, also wrapped in brown paper about 2.5 ft. – 3 ft. across [at its base] by 4 in. thick, as being on the flight. According to Porter, these had been handed up to him through an open hatch on the B-29 while the plane was still being checked out near the Flight Operations Building. A staff car had driven up to the plane and delivered the packages which Porter personally received. All of the packages were extremely light, and they were stored in the forward section of the plane for the flight. Although Porter definitely recalled Maj. Marcel as being on this flight, he did not recall that any other wreckage material was. There was no mention, as before, of material being in the cargo hold. Interviewed again in June 2000 by Carey, Porter’s account remains essentially unchanged.
Porter admits to having never actually seen what was in the packages wrapped in brown paper and cannot, therefore, help us in identifying their contents. And by stating that he was unaware of any other debris material or wreckage on the flight [e.g., in the cargo hold], the seeds of revisionist controversy that continues today were born. If Marcel was correct when he said that he had been photographed in Gen. Ramey’s office holding pieces of the real wreckage recovered from the Brazel ranch, and if Porter was correct in stating that there was only a small amount of material flown from Roswell to Fort Worth [in the four or five brown-paper-wrapped packages], thus reinforcing former CIC Capt. Sheridan Cavitt’s contention that he and Marcel found nothing more than a small amount of weather balloon debris on the Brazel ranch, then – voila – Marcel recovered a weather balloon, probably from Project Mogul, on the Brazel ranch. The Fort Worth pictures, combined with Marcel’s and Porter’s statements, prove it, according to this line of reasoning. We agree that all of the Fort Worth photographs show weather balloon debris – Mogul or otherwise, it doesn’t matter – on the floor of Gen. Ramey’s office. We disagree with the mogulists, however, as to the provenance of the pictured weather balloon. We concluded before the mogulists that the weather balloon debris shown in the Fort Worth photographs came from Roswell. How do we know this without invoking a mogulist interpretation of the events? Ramey’s Chief of Staff, Thomas DuBose provides the answer. In the interviews that he gave to researchers over the years, several themes in his testimony become abundantly clear: (1) he never saw any debris other than weather balloon debris; (2) the debris was not switched [because all he ever saw was the weather balloon]; (3) the weather balloon debris came from Roswell on the flight with Marcel.
That leaves us with the problem of the discrepancies between Marcel’s and Porter’s statements about the amount of material they flew to Fort Worth and Marcel’s statements concerning the nature of the debris that he accompanied to Fort Worth. Is there any way to resolve the issue without invoking convoluted explanations to reach a desired outcome? In scientific debates [the scientific euphemism for arguments], when confronted with competing theories to explain a phenomenon, “Occam’s Law” is called upon to settle the argument. It is not a “law” in the empirically derived, scientific sense, such as “Newton’s Law”, but is merely a concept that holds that, among competing theories, the simplest theory that can explain the observed data is the one that must be chosen as the explanation for the phenomenon. More complicated theories must be abandoned. And so it must be in the case at issue here.
“I Was There!”
During a June, 2000 research visit to Roswell, the authors were given a personal tour of the old Roswell Base Flight Operations Building by Robert J. Shirkey, the former assistant operations officer for the 509th and the officer on duty when the July 8th, 1947 flight to Fort Worth taxied up. The original building is still there and still in use but not for its original purpose. Shirkey described for us the layout of the building back in 1947. He also described in detail everything that he could remember about the flight that is the subject of this paper, since he drew up the flight plan for this flight and was an eyewitness to events in connection with it. His account of what happened is also recalled in his own book, Roswell 1947: I Was There, published in 1999.
According to Shirkey, shortly after he had returned from lunch [about 1:15 PM], he was told that a flight plan had to be made up for an unscheduled 2 PM flight to Fort Worth, TX. No sooner was he told this than the plane – a four-engine, B-29 bomber – taxied up to “Flight Ops” where Shirkey was for checkout. Shirkey could see some of the crew inside the cockpit of the B-29. He recognized Lt. Col. Payne Jennings in the pilot’s seat but doesn’t recall the others. Just then, he heard a voice behind him demanding to know if the flight was ready. Shirkey recognized the voice. It was Col. Blanchard himself, commander of the 509th. When told that it was, Blanchard stepped out into the hallway and waved to some people who were waiting outside on the street side of the building to come on through. Blanchard backed up into the doorway to allow the men to pass and, in the process, blocked Shirkey’s view of the procession through the hallway. Shirkey showed us where the doorway had been back in 1947 where, after asking Blanchard to step aside a bit so that he could see too, he found himself standing “buckle to buckle” with Blanchard as the procession trundled past them. Shirkey recalls now that there must have been somewhere between five and nine men in the group, including Maj. Marcel whom he recognized. He did not recognize the other men but said that they were all wearing dark blue suits ["FBI-types"] and all but one of them were carrying open cardboard boxes full of “aluminum-looking metal pieces”. Marcel was also carrying an open cardboard box filled with same non-reflective, aluminum-looking “scrap-metal”. One particular item in Marcel’s box caught Shirkey’s eye and still stands out in Shirkey’s mind today – “… sticking up in one corner of the box … was a small ‘I-beam’ with hieroglyphic markings on the inner flange, in some kind of weird color, not black, not purple, but a close approximation of the two.” Following Marcel was one of the “FBI-types” carrying only a single piece of metal under one of his arms. It was about the size of a “poster drawing board” [about 2 ft. x 3 ft.] with torn edges. It was very smooth, almost “glasslike” in appearance. Although Shirkey was less than three feet way, the men moved quickly through the building out to the waiting B-29, and he only got a brief look. “Here it came, and there it went.” he would later remark. Marcel and the “FBI-types”, after handing the boxes of material up through an open hatch on the plane, all clambered aboard the flight [although Robert Porter does not now remember any others as being on the flight, this scenario recalls his earlier statement concerning material on-board the flight that had been escorted by an armed guard assigned to it in Roswell]. Sometime shortly before or after the Marcel troupe made its hallway dash, Shirkey cannot remember which, he recalls an Army staff car driving up to the B-29, whereupon someone got out and handed a few packages up through an open hatchway to someone inside the plane. After the hatch closed, the engines revved up as the B-29 rolled down the runway and took off for Fort Worth. Blanchard then turned and tossed a perfunctory, “See you.” in Shirkey’s direction as he left the building. He never saw Blanchard again. Nine days later, Shirkey was transferred to the Philippines.
Most analyses of and conclusions reached with regard to any debate must of necessity start with a set of assumptions that can be stipulated as being true. It’s the competing variables to which “Occam’s Razor” is applied in order to reach the most acceptably efficient resolution available. Even then, in the face of a reasonably applied process, a decision reached will not always be accepted by all parties to the debate. And so will it no doubt be with the conclusions reached herein regarding the July 8th, 1947 flight from Roswell to Fort Worth and what its implication to Gen. Ramey’s “press conference” might have been.
The most reasonable interpretation of the Fort Worth photographs discussed above is that they all show the various officers [Marcel, Ramey, DuBose and Newton] posed with the exact, same debris which is strewn on the floor of Gen. Ramey’s office on the afternoon of July 8th, 1947. That this is so, can be verified by a gross examination of the pictures in question wherein various torn pieces of the tinfoil radar target can be matched-up as well as the dark-colored, rubber, weather balloon itself at the feet of the officers.
The Fort Worth photographs all show a neoprene [rubber] weather balloon and a torn-up, 1947-era, Rawin-type, radar target displayed on the floor of Gen. Ramey’s office over which the various officer were posed. It matters not whether the remnants shown were of the “common” type or of the “Mogul” type, as these were essentially the same.
There was no switch of debris elements as alleged by Maj. Jesse Marcel in The Roswell Incident after pictures of him were taken in Fort Worth. This is clearly evident by an examination of all of the Fort Worth photographs. The sequence of these photographs, as to the order in which they were taken, was most probably: (1) the two photos of Marcel; (2) the four photos of Ramey + Ramey/DuBose; and (3) the sole photo of Newton. This sequence is based upon the testimonies of the participants.
For purposes of this analysis, all other mundane explanations for the “Roswell Incident” [e.g., Japanese balloon bombs, experimental aircraft, V-2 rockets, etc.] except for the weather balloon explanation – Mogul or otherwise, have been ruled out as possible explanations for the issues discussed herein.
The July 8th, 1947 flight from Roswell to Fort Worth carried with it pieces of “material” of undetermined quantity which consisted of, either: (1) balloon/radar target remains recovered from the Brazel ranch by Marcel; (2) balloon/radar target remains not recovered from the Brazel ranch by Marcel; (3) partial remains of an extraterrestrial craft of unknown origin recovered from the Brazel ranch by Marcel; (4) some combination of 1, 2, and 3.
Given these stipulations, and since there is no physical evidence for us to examine, the attempted answer as to what, aside from people, was really being carried on the July 8th, 1947 flight from Roswell to Fort Worth must be derived from the surviving testimonies of the parties involved, as well as from any other pertinent information that can be gleaned from whatever source. Recognizing the apparent discrepancies in the testimonies of those discussed above concerning this flight, can a simple resolution be reached to explain the data after the passage of so much time? We believe that it can.
The simplest explanation is that Jesse Marcel recovered a downed weather balloon, including a radar target, on the Brazel ranch, could not identify it, and took pieces of it back to Roswell. It couldn’t be identified there either, so it was flown to the next higher headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. There, 8th Army Air Force personnel identified it as a weather balloon, and that is what is pictured in the Fort Worth photographs. While satisfying the photographic evidence, this explanation contradicts the testimonies of too many witnesses, starting with Mack Brazel and Jesse Marcel, who have testified that it was not a weather balloon. The other simplest explanation available to us holds that Marcel recovered from the Brazel ranch and accompanied to Forth Worth a portion of the exploded remains of an extraterrestrial spacecraft, and this is what is pictured in the Fort Worth photographs. While satisfying most of the witness testimony, this explanation falls apart when we view the photographs that, as we have stated earlier in this paper, clearly show the remains of a weather balloon. The two simplest explanations available to us, then, do not work. We must move to another level of complexity to seek the next level explanation that might fit the facts.
The late Jesse Marcel believed from the first that he had found the exploded remains of a flying saucer. He believed that from the time he entered Brazel’s sheep pasture on the morning of July 7th, 1947 until the day he died [corroborating witnesses to Marcel's belief are too numerous to mention here, but they are a substantial number of individuals, both military and civilian]. He also believed that he had accompanied a representative sampling of these remains on a flight to Fort Worth, Texas on the afternoon of July 8th, 1947. He felt that there was a large amount of it on board. Presumably, it represented the two carloads of wreckage brought back to Roswell from the Brazel ranch by Sheridan Cavitt and himself. Perhaps, it was only Marcel’s load. Robert Porter, on the other hand, only remembers a small number of packages, which were handed to him personally, as being on the flight. Although the packages were extremely light, Porter still doesn’t know what was in them.
Without getting into a definitional argument over the meaning of the words, “large” and “small”, is there any way to move forward. There is. Perhaps Marcel was simply exaggerating the amount of debris that was in the B-29 for purposes of an interview. Perhaps whatever the amount was met his definition of a lot, or perhaps he did not really know the amount. For his part, Porter seemed to be agreeing with Marcel in The Roswell Incident when he indicated that there was material under guard in the cargo hold. We also know from later statements by Porter that the 4-5 small packages that he personally received on board for the flight were stored in the front cabin of the B-29 and not in the rear bomb bay. Porter states that he never saw any other debris or wreckage on the flight. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any, only that he did not witness it [the two sections of the B-29 were separated by a bulkhead and a small hatchway which enabled a man to slide through horizontally]. Or, perhaps he has just forgotten that part of it. If, however, Porter is right about the small number of packages being the only cargo on board the flight, especially when the description of one of the packages seems to comport with a folded-up radar target, then Marcel would seem to have indeed found the remains of a weather balloon, and we can all go home. Can this discrepancy be resolved? We believe that it can.
Robert Shirkey’s eyewitness testimony of seeing Marcel accompanied by seven or eight “FBI-types”, all except one carrying open cardboard boxes full of “scrap metal” resembling torn pieces of dull aluminum, is critical here. That Shirkey is describing the same, strange material – not a weather balloon – that Marcel said he recovered from the Brazel ranch is confirmed by his observation and description of the “I-beam with hieroglyphics” seen in the box that Marcel was carrying and the 2 ft. x 3 ft. rectangular piece that one of the “FBI-types” was carrying under his arm. This particular piece recalls the largest piece of debris recovered from the Brazel ranch and described by Marcel, the piece that, “some of the boys said they hit it with a sixteen-pound sledgehammer and said they couldn’t put a dent in it.” Does this constitute a “lot” of material? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But it certainly would appear to constitute more material than could have been contained in the small, shoebox-sized packages plus the triangular-shaped package that Porter described. Shirkey said that he saw Marcel and all of his escorts board the B-29 after the boxes they were carrying were loaded on the plane [again, recall Porter's original statement about material under guard in the cargo hold]. We have talked to a number of military eyewitnesses who have attested to the sudden influx of “unknown, civilian security-types” onto the base at the time.
After arriving in Fort Worth, Marcel said that he took a small amount of the debris to show Gen. Ramey. Most likely, this would have been the box of debris that Shirkey saw him carrying through the hallway of the Flight Operations Building. This is also confirmed by Walter Haut who said that Marcel kept the box on his lap during the entire flight. Could it have been weather balloon debris in that box? No, according to Marcel. He clearly has stated on the record that “his debris” was switched with that of a weather balloon. Marcel is obviously wrong as quoted in The Roswell Incident about when the switch occurred as the Fort Worth photographs attest. He is either mistaken about it [it can happen] or has been misquoted. Given our previous discussion about it above, we believe it to be the latter. Again, Walter Haut provides an explanation that works. According to Haut, after placing his box of debris on Gen. Ramey’s desk, he went into another room to point out to Ramey on a large wall map exactly where the crash site was located. When he returned, his box of debris was gone, and weather balloon debris had appeared. Porter was in the mess hall eating lunch with the rest of the crew when all of this was taking place. So, he is of no help here. DuBose never saw Marcel or his box of debris, only the weather balloon, and he is now deceased. The weather officer, Irving Newton, is still alive, but his story has so “evolved” over the years with embellishments as to render them as suspect. His core story of seeing only a weather balloon and a tinfoil radar target on the floor of Gen. Ramey’s office, however, remains unchanged.
What about those pesky packages that were delivered to Robert Porter by a staff car just prior to takeoff? Where might they fit into this story? As the reader will recall, three or four of the packages were of the shoebox variety, and the fourth was triangular in shape with the base edge being 2.5 ft.-3 ft. across by about 4 in. thick.. All of the packages, according to Robert Porter, were wrapped in plain, brown, wrapping paper. Porter doesn’t know what happened to these packages after they landed in Fort Worth. All he knows is that when the crew returned to the plane after lunch for the return trip to Roswell, the packages were gone. He assumed that they had been transferred to another plane to be flown to Wright Field. He was wrong on his assumption as it turns out. The answer leaps at you when you look again at the Fort Worth photographs. Sitting on a bed of brown wrapping paper in the middle of Gen. Ramey’s office, with all of its triangularity on display, is the torn up, tinfoil, radar target. Folded up, with a broken strut or two, it could easily fit the dimensions of the package received by Porter. Also on display in the pictures of Ramey and DuBose and especially in the picture of Newton is one of the brown-paper-wrapped boxes. It can be seen on the floor next to one of the chairs in the Newton photo and behind the middle chair in the Ramey/Dubose photos. This too meets the description of one of the shoebox-type packages received by Porter. No doubt about it. What was in the box? Was it additional balloon debris in case it was needed, or was it pieces of the real deal? Porter did not know, and we do not know. Most likely, we will never know. The simplest explanation available to us that fits these facts, therefore, is that these were indeed the same packages that were handed up to Porter in Roswell. To deduce otherwise, we believe, would be close to a “suspension of disbelief” situation up front and also require adding additional layers of explanation when we have a simpler one that works.
The scenario just described allows for Marcel’s claim, backed up by Robert Shirkey’s eyewitness account, that he had flown an amount of material that he had retrieved from the Brazel ranch and which he described as being, “not of this earth”, from Roswell to Fort Worth. It also allows for the inclusion of Robert Porter’s packages that ultimately wind up on the floor of Gen. Ramey’s office in Fort Worth to be used as photographic props in the unfolding cover-up of the “Roswell Incident”. [Recent research by Roswell researcher, David Rudiak, now suggests that Gen. Ramey was already informing the press of the balloon explanation before the Marcel flight arrived in Fort Worth.] It also comports with Thomas DuBose’s statement that the balloon material that he saw came from Roswell. And, lastly, with two different sets of debris material delivered to Fort Worth, it allows for the “switch” from one to the other that Marcel always claimed had taken place.
As stated in the opening paragraph, the July 8th, 1947 flight from Roswell to Fort Worth was a special flight. Lots of secrecy and security, if not urgency, surrounded it. A most important flight as evidenced by the highest-ranking crew, except for the base commander, that the 509th could pull together on short notice. Not the kind of priority attention that would be accorded to a flight carrying only rubber and tinfoil. Talk on board during the flight over to Fort Worth was that they were carrying parts of a flying saucer, but the crew was warned to keep their mouths shut about it. It appears, therefore, that if anyone on board knew the real mission of the flight, it would have been only the highest-ranking officers, Payne Jennings and Robert Barrowclough, who were close to Blanchard. Maj. Marcel certainly did not know, and neither did Capt. Anderson who also believed that the cargo was extraterrestrial. It was not until the start of the return flight back to Roswell that the crew was officially told that they had flown a weather balloon to Fort Worth and to forget about it. The “fix” was a done deal. Everybody could go home.
A few final notes about the balloon and radar target debris seen in the Fort Worth photographs. According to the Air Force’s “Project Mogul Explanation”, the debris had lain on the desert floor for about a month before it was brought to Fort Worth. The problem here is that the rubber balloon seen in the Fort Worth photographs does not comport with the remains of a rubber balloon that had been lying in the hot New Mexico sun for a month or so. Such a balloon would have been reduced to black flecks by that time. The rubber balloon in the pictures is darkened which indicates some degree of exposure to sunlight, to be sure, but not the claimed amount. It still appears to be very much in tact. Further, the torn-up, paper-backed, tinfoil, radar target in the photographs shows absolutely no sign of weathering or degradation which would be expected if it had lain on the desert floor for a month, as claimed. In fact, in the pictures, it appears to be a pristine, off-the-shelf, model. No stains on the white paper or wooden struts. No dirt. Clean as a whistle. The torn tinfoil could very easily have been “self-inflicted”. And, as we have always maintained, no responsible rancher would permit such debris to remain for weeks in an open grazing pasture for sheep to ingest. We would like to see one of the so-called skeptics try to suggest otherwise to a true rancher.
Whence the Balloon?
If, as we have suggested, the balloon debris pictured in the Fort Worth photographs came from Roswell, did it originate there? Some have suggested that the White Sands missile range [near Alamogordo, NM] was the source where, as respected Roswell researcher Robert Durant points out in the March, 1998 issue of MUFON UFO Journal, single balloons with single radar reflectors were routinely used in conjunction with V-2 rocket tests. More likely, however, and for the most obvious reason [which flies in the face of those who would maintain that Marcel and other Roswell personnel would not have recognized a Rawin target balloon], the RAAF was launching such balloons from atop Roswell’s tallest building on the average of twice a day in connection with the base’s frequent test drops of unarmed atomic bombs.
Given the data at hand and the parameters of the debate under the rules of “Occam’s Law”, the best possible explanation for the issues discussed herein is that the 509th’s intelligence officer, Maj. Jesse A. Marcel, retrieved a portion of the exploded remains of an extraterrestrial craft of unknown origin from the J.B Foster [Brazel] Ranch near Corona, NM and returned it to Roswell [Marcel's associate on the trip, CIC Capt. Sheridan Cavitt, also separately returned a portion of the same debris to Roswell]. From there, it went under armed guard on a special flight to 8th Army Air Force Headquarters at Fort Worth. Unknown to most of the crew, a small amount of weather balloon remains [including a tinfoil, radar target] also went on the same flight. After arriving at Fort Worth, Marcel took a single box of the recovered wreckage to Gen. Ramey’s office where he placed it on Ramey’s desk to show the General. Ramey then took Marcel into another room to have Marcel point out on a large wall map where the crash location was. While the two were in the other room, Marcel’s box of wreckage was removed, and the balloon and target debris from Roswell were unwrapped and placed on the floor of Ramey’s office on the aforementioned wrapping paper. When Marcel and Ramey returned to the main office, first Marcel, then Ramey and the others were posed and photographed with the substituted balloon debris while the real debris was on its way to Wright Field in Ohio. The Fort Worth photographs that survive to us today show Marcel, Ramey and the others all posing with the same balloon debris flown in from Roswell. This scenario, in point of fact, represents the simplest explanation available to us that explains the facts as we have come to know them. Any other explanation must be discarded until such time as additional and credible data are brought to bear that might change the equation.
Sorry, Mogul Fans. But, as Titanic songstress, Celine Dionne, lyrically opines to us now, “That’s the way it is.”