The Roswell corner: History’s lamest mysteries
Like Bigfoot, the Holy Grail, the Loch Ness Monster, and dinosaurs in the Congo, Roswell refuses to die. The latest effort to resurrect this American myth was conducted by the television program, History’s Greatest Mysteries. Instead of summarizing everything they had in one or two hours, they managed to stretch out their case over three two-hour episodes. To be honest, it was mind-numbing as I watched them parade all the same old witness testimonies (including the rejected testimonies of Glenn Dennis and Frank Kaufmann) and new second-hand/third-hand testimonies made by individuals, who said they talked to Jesse Marcel Sr. Some of these stories (like the material hid in the water heater) were difficult to believe.
The Marcel Journal
Jesse Marcel Sr.’s grandchildren presented a journal they found in his effects. At first glance, the journal seemed to contained nothing more than just a bunch of rambling thoughts with absolutely no mention of the greatest event known to mankind. However, in the second episode, it was determined that it was not written by Marcel. This means he obtained it from somebody else. It was suggested that this individual must have written it in code in order to convey a secret message to Marcel. They gave the journal to a code breaking expert but, after spending significant time on a computer, they could not decode it. Despite the inability to decode the secret message with a fancy computer program, it was suggested that it still could be some very complicated code that members of the 509th used when secretly communicating with each other. So, the investigators decided to narrow down who in the 509th leadership could have been the author. After their handwriting expert looked at handwriting of various officers in the 509th, it was suggested that Patrick Saunders might have been the author of the journal. The program then presented testimony from Saunders’ children to make him into a critical figure in the Roswell cover-up. Of course, none of this was ever recorded anywhere (other than his one cryptic note in a copy of one book). Saunders’ children then began reciting the stories they say their father privately told them over the years but they sounded a lot like the stories told by Frank Kaufmann (i.e. the stealth plane was built on Roswell technology) and others found in the Roswell books.
I don’t think whoever wrote in the journal was some sort of coding genius, who could defeat modern computers. Sometimes, a bunch of rambling writings are just a bunch of rambling writings.
Marcel’s recorded testimony was given a lot of air time. An expert on detecting lies was allowed to evaluate Marcel’s testimony and she could detect no lies. However, all she was doing was determining that Marcel believed what he was telling was true. I am sure Dr. Elizabeth Loftus could argue about the problem with memory and testimony told decades later.
There is little doubt, in most people’s minds, that Marcel believed what he was telling was the truth. Yet, in his retelling, some important details were mentioned by Marcel that indicated what he found was not so exotic after all. For instance, in recorded testimony, he had stated that some of the actual debris was seen by the newspapers reporters. That means that some of the debris he recovered was actually in the photographs. Of course, we know what the photographs show and it is not debris from an alien spaceship.
Linda Corely was also on the show. Surprisingly, the show discussed Marcel stating that the “I-beams” mentioned by Jesse Marcel Jr. were not accurate and they were just square beams that “looked like wood” but “would not burn”. Corely also tried to decipher his writings, that he had sketched for her, and stated that she determined they were a form of Roman shorthand from over two thousand years ago. Who would have thought the aliens were using ancient writing? It is also possible that Marcel just drew random marks that looked like this ancient short hand. I doubt his memory was so good that he could accurately remember figures he saw for a few hours over three decades previous.
Missing in those Corely interviews is that Marcel, once again, suggested that the real debris was in the photographs. However, he stated he had placed the real debris underneath the brown paper on the floor. The photographs show nothing beneath the paper, which makes one wonder what Marcel was talking about.
I have mentioned Jesse Marcel Sr.’s testimony multiple times over the years (most notably in SUNlite 4-4 and 4-6) and it is essentially a dead end because people never bothered to ask Marcel critical questions like what did he mean when he said that the newspaper reporters saw some of the material but not the important pieces or that one of the photographs showed him with the real debris. This program did the usual cherry picking of the testimony that told the story they wanted to present.
Multiple debris fields
The analysis of the debris field revealed...surprise....something anomalous. They found a small geomagnetic anomaly but that seemed to be a small area and not very significant.
Former FAA investigator, David Soucie examined the debris field and found confusing gamma ray readings that did not match the readings of ground penetrating radar. I am not sure what the gamma ray levels were in this instance. Showing a color coded map, without numbers, on television does not really make a good argument. Soucie suggested the difference might be a sign of neoprene from balloons. As much as I want to say this is compelling, I am not buying this idea because most of the neoprene from flight #4 would have degraded or had been picked up.
They also examined another impact site, 40 miles north of Roswell, where, according to Don Schmitt, witnesses had described the final resting place of the spacecraft. So, instead of paying for the archaeologists to come back and examine this site, they opted to have Frank Kimbler go around with his metal detector. They dug up some fragments but, apparently, there was nothing earth shattering about them because they never revealed any results.
We were also introduced to an individual named, Chuck Wade, who claims there were multiple crashes, which resulted in multiple crash locations. He even had debris he had collected from one of those crash sites. Luckily, the material could be cut easily, and a sample was taken to be tested. I was not shocked to learn they discovered it was not from an extraterrestrial craft.
Trying to debunk flight #4
In the second episode, the program presented a brief presentation of the flight #4 explanation. David Soucie examined the Brazel debris site and decided that a balloon debris field was not possible based on what he saw of the lay of the land, the way the wind moved around the area he was shown, and the descriptions he was given. He felt something lightweight could not end up in the pattern described. He seemed to basing his analysis on how witnesses described the debris field decades later and not what was described by Brazel in 1947. Is this a case of GIGO (garbage in = garbage out)? I would like to see Soucie make a written presentation to see how he drew his conclusions.
The Ramey Memo again
The program also examined the “Ramey Memo”. SUNlite 10-1 recorded the last time the memo was publicly examined was in the program “Expedition Unknown” and they determined the word “Victims” was probably “viewing”. In this version, the “V” in “Victims” now appeared to be a “P” and they implied that it could have been the word “Pending”. What we continue to learn about the Ramey memo is that there is no way to read the memo with any confidence because there is just too much noise in the film grain.
Trying to prop up a myth
Five years after the Roswell Slides debacle, Don Schmitt is still the “go-to guy” on telling the Roswell fable for these television shows. Kevin Randle had a few moments but he was basically second fiddle to Schmitt peddling all the tall tales he has collected over the years. All these shows are doing is enabling Schmitt’s fantasies about Roswell and his ego.
This program was just another crashed saucer show with a slight twist. It tried to appear objective in their efforts but, even when faced with negative evidence, they always tried to find a remote possibility that this evidence did not disprove their claims. After all, solving a mystery does not sell as well as maintaining one.
Quelle: SUNlite 1/2021