The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Friday, March 06, 2009



A firefighter who was with the Roswell Fire Department in 1947 has confirmed that the mysterious crash in the New Mexico desert that Summer was in fact of an unearthly craft!

The firefighter, now age 90, related stunning information to this author in a lengthy interview conducted recently. Respected Roswell author Kevin Randle also talked with the involved fireman to confirm the details of his story.

Some time ago I located the son of Rue Chrisman. Rue was the Fire Chief for the Roswell Fire Department in 1947, passing in 1981 at age 98. Chrisman's son explained to me that he knew that the town's Fire Department was somehow involved in the crash event. But the son was sparse in his conversation, not really wishing to elaborate. When pressed, the son said, "It did happen. There was a big coverup. The crash was real." I asked him how he knew of this, he paused and said, "I knew too many who knew."

I then asked him if any Roswell Firemen from 1947 are still alive. He replied that there was still "one left." He only mentioned the surviving fireman's surname as "Smith" and that one of his family members attends the same church as the involved fireman. Working with Kevin Randle, we identified and located the elderly gentleman and sought his testimony.

When reached, the Fireman was somewhat hesitant to discuss the matter. But after some "small talk" he warmed up to discussion. In a far-ranging conversation, the Fireman related these incredible details:

- An intimidating Colonel from Roswell Army Air Field visited the Roswell Fire Department immediately after the crash. The Colonel explained to the fireman who were at the department that day that an "unknown object from someplace else" had crashed in the desert outside Roswell. The Colonel warned that no one was to speak about the event to anyone ever. He also commanded them that nobody was to go out to the site or respond to any inquiries about the event. He explained that "everything was being handled by the military."

- Dan Dwyer, another Roswell Fire Department firefighter, did manage to go out to see the crash site, defying the Colonels orders. He confirms some of the details that Dan Dwyer's daughter, Frankie Rowe, has related in numerous interviews over the years. Frankie maintains that her father was able to view the craft and its occupants.

- Dan related to him that the area surrounding the crash was secured and cordoned by armed guards. Firemen went out there on their own volition, not as a "department." The Fireman did not want to talk too much about Dan Dwyer and Frankie Rowe though.

- The crash was of a craft not from Earth. The Fireman explained that it was not a balloon or any type of military experiment. He said that it was a "UFO." When I said to him that the term "UFO" was not used back then...he said it was "unidentified- a flying saucer." I asked him how he knew this and he stated that he was certain it was because of "what I was told at the time it happened." He explained that the Colonel did not know what the craft was or from where it came...and that there was great concern over the situation.

- The Roswell City Manager knew about the event and came into the Fire Department to personally and forcefully order the department to say nothing of the crash. Although the Fireman could not recall the City Manager's name at the time, I knew who it was. When I mentioned the name "C.M. Woodbury" to him, he said that did seem to be the name. As it happens, C.M. Woodbury would have been a very intimidating individual with whom to reckon. This is because C.M. Woodbury was known as the "Iron Major" - a decorated War vet of the notoriously effective 752nd Tank Battallion. Woodbury was also very close friends with Butch Blanchard, the Roswell Army Air Field base Commander.

- The Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) base Fire Department was heavily involved in the crash recovery. The Fireman explained that "this is where the confusion comes from." The Fire Department that was most heavily involved in the crash retrieval was not so much the city fire department but the base's own Fire Department. He asserted that the RAAF firemen "knew the most" about the event. He was unfortunately unable to recall the names of these firemen.

- The Roswell Sheriff's Department was engaged in the coverup of the crash. The Fireman confirmed that Deputy Tommy Thompson was someone he knew at the Sherrif's office who was told to "keep the quiet."

- When asked how he "dealt with the fact that a craft from another world had crashed near Roswell," the Fireman replied that they had no idea what the implications were, "we just didn't really ever think about those kind of things at that time, but I do now."

The Fireman's testimony is nothing short of amazing. It confirms the unknown nature of the Roswell crash in 1947. It is, however, testimony. I appreciate the difficulties with "testimony." Testimony includes utterances that are presented as evidence for the claims they express. There is an inherent problem with all testimony. The speaker's reliability and sincerity are supported only by words rather than documents, photographs or other physical evidence. I appreciate that the Fireman's words are not sufficient to justify the belief that the crash at Roswell was extraterrestrial.

However, when testimony is given by an individual who is in fact who he says he is- and who did not come forward but instead was "found," we should pay attention to that testimony. And the truth of the event does not depend on taking the speaker's word alone as evidence of truth. But the Fireman's testimony is of special importance because he has never come forward publicly before with his story and he has no apparent reason or motivation to lie. The Fireman's full name will not be released until his death. He is in the last years of life, living out his days peacefully with close family. Author Kevin Randle also talked with the Fireman after I did, and agrees that a barrage of calls and contacts to the elderly man by skeptics and others would be a disservice to an old man.

It is said that when a man becomes a Fireman, his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. In this case though, the old Fireman's greatest act of bravery was to tell what he knew about the Roswell event for the sake of history and truth.


  • I think you have summed up your latest story in your last but two paragraph, especially the final sentence. There is nothing in this testimony that adds anything of value to the voluminous anecdotal testimony we already have.
    So in addition to all the military who had to keep their mouths shut, we have the police who were involved (those under sherriff Wilcox) and now, it appears, all the fireman who happened to get involved, plus, I presume, any ambulance personnel, doctors, nurses, and so on. Truly amazing how they all kept it quiet for so long. But then that's all part of the Roswell folklore, isn't it?

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, March 07, 2009  

  • Christopher:

    I'm hoping that Tony Bragalia replies to your comment.

    But I would like to interject that there's a problem with "testimony" by the aged.

    In old age, persons tend to incorporate stories and events into their memory and lives that they have had no real connection with.

    That is, older persons (not those with dementia even) sometimes think that they have been part of happenings that they've read about or heard.

    And they believe that they have actually been a part of those events.

    It's called the Smiley Blanton Syndrome, and I hope to bring more to the UFO table about it, since it may very well play a part in all those witness accounts that just don't quite add up.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 07, 2009  

  • And I thought you would be the first comment to attempt to snuff his story and not the second.

    Does this possibly go along with your more recent comment, "A closed, underground group might pull this off, and we hear there’s a movement afoot to do just that…"

    lol doesn't work, oh hell even ROFLMAO doesn't work. I'm in tears and my gut aches from the laughter.

    Great article Anthony.

    By Blogger 1grimreaper, at Saturday, March 07, 2009  

  • GR:

    Anything that Tony Bragalia inputs here should be taken seriously, since he broaches Roswell seriously.

    However, one should note that there are psychological infirmities that afflict those who've reached a ripe old age, and one has to take them into account when stories from memory are told.

    Although I seem to take a skeptical stance, sometimes that's merely a devil's advocate position to open discussion to alternative views.

    (By the way Grim...did you really ROFLMAO....really? You may have more problems than those oldies I cite.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 07, 2009  

  • You betcha. Of course it wasn't over so much what you said, (A closed, underground group might pull this off, and we hear there’s a movement afoot to do just that…) but rather something I read elsewhere in response to your statement, which was - "A Movement Afoot": Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid".

    Besides, I'm from the Fort as well and I like to keep tabs on you occasionally, for a more than occasional giggle. The media thing isn't as much fun.

    By Blogger 1grimreaper, at Saturday, March 07, 2009  

  • You are so right, Grim....Fort Wayne media isn't as much fun, rather boring actually.

    Keep those tabs comin'.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 07, 2009  

  • What I want to know is what happened to a photo that I saw sometime around 1987-90.
    It showed a couple of military men standing at the side of a jeep, each of them holding one arm of an "alien" (holding it up between them - it was apparently dead). The creature was only about 3 feet tall and had a head shaped like an upside-down pear, but not large like we see in drawings of "greys". The arms and legs were thin, approximately 3 inches in diameter and were longer in proportion to the body than human arms & legs.
    I haven't been able to locate another copy of the picture, and only saw it one time on TV. After that the picture seemed to vanish from public memory.

    By Blogger Mai, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • Gosh, just trying to duplicate the code to get registered is tough at my age. Let's get some clarity, too young, too old, from what age groups will you accept testimony before you begin to discount it?

    By Blogger Robert Moran, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • Robert:

    Ufologists can accept testimony from UFO/Roswell witnesses of any age but there must be caveats.

    We and Cullan Hudson of Strange State note that the psychological make-up of UFO witnesses has been woefully missing from accounts.

    Older witnesses who are trying to recall events from 60 years ago could very well be recasting those events within a mental frame of mind that is marred by the natural deterioration of their brains and mental faculties.

    Maybe what they are recalling is accurate pretty much.

    But a few psychological and/or neurological tests could easily confirm if they are functioning compos mentis.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • Anthony Bragalia responds:

    RRR and others are studies show that perhaps as many as one-third of Americans age 90 or older suffers from some sort of dementia. But this means that the vast majority- two thirds- do not suffer from this or related conditions! Most are cognizant and clear-headed!

    We must all bear that in mind. Otherwise, don't get old! People will assume that you are crazy, making things up, or that you don't know what your really talking about! It concerns me that when people become elderly, a terrible and prejudicial assumption is made- somehow what they say is less valued or trusted because they are aged.

    My sainted great-grandmother lived to 100. She was as sharp as a tack. Though she forgot more immediate things (such as where she put something) she remembered her 20s and 30s as clear as a bell. I enjoyed hearing her stories about our family history- a history she related that was always confirmed as correct by younger family members. I am aware that many can recount just the opposite- elderly parents or grandparents who place themselves in places they were not, or that 'make things up' to appease.

    But in this case, it clearly appears that the Fireman falls within the category of those elderly who are spared the ravages of dementia (or other forms of memory misplacement.)

    Though I am not a psychologist, I can tell you that I make my living interviewing people in a profession that requires intense questioning. The Fireman held up to the questioning. He gave absolutely no indication whatsoever that he was confabulating. embellishing or attempting to "please" the questioner(s). He did not come forward, he was "found." He spoke sparingly. My sense is that the Fireman actually knows far more than he related. His demeanor shows that he was not trying to 'add' to or 'make up' elements of the story. Quite the contrary...

    I would also add that the Fireman obviously told others the same story when he was much younger....I was referred to him by the Fire Chief's son, who knew of the Fireman's tale long before Kevin or I ever contacted the involved Fireman.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • Our friend and best UFO contributor Anthony Bragalia is correct about old age and dementia.

    My remarks, however, refer to an under-appreciated psychological malady: The Smiley Blanton Syndrome, which afflicts old persons significantly and younger people less so, but in a similar way.

    The Syndrome goes like this….

    When persons read or hear a story, they assimilate that story mentally. When they read or hear another story with similar attributes, sometimes they merge the two stories, in their mind banks, making a kind of hybrid, with elements from both stories creating a new story, one with bit and pieces of each original story making up the new remembrance.

    This can be harmless generally or serious, if one’s testimony is needed for police work or a retelling of an historical event.

    (This is part of the problem with Homer’s works and some books of The Bible, New and Old Testaments, among other literary efforts.)

    In older persons, the Syndrome presents a “reality” that belies actual events heard or read.

    That is, aged people, in a larger proportion that that affected by dementia, an amalgam of many stories read or heard or related over the years becomes for them a reality that they have lived or experienced.

    The remembrances may be partially true, or even almost totally true, but details are corrupted by the machinations of the Smiley Blanton Syndrome.

    This may very well not be the case with Tony Bragalia’s fireman, as his tale seems to be corroborated by others.

    But even if a tale is told earlier than when one is aged, the syndrome is still intact and ufologists have never taken it into account, nor any other psychological dysfunctions which have marred or is marring UFO witness testimony.

    That’s my point, and a (minor?) caveat about witness testimony.

    I expect persons, like Joseph Capp, will disagree….


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • Mai,

    I think you must be talking about this photo... seems interesting since why would the Mexican govenment have a real need to make this up back then?

    By Blogger Nick, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • I sure wish someone from Roswell would remember Melvin Brown and his family from the late 50s. It would sure help back up my story. Would like to see a trace of his military record from 1971. Did he transfer to Michigan before going back overseas? If there could ever be a trace of his moving it will show he was contantly being transferred every few months. Where does Mike Brown fit into this family? A stepson perhaps? Any records anywhere on Brown family?

    By Blogger SoMany?s, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • The picture Mai is speaking of is a set of pictures that went along with the story of the Missouri encounter.

    This is one of the set of pictures, but not the one they are speaking of.

    By Blogger Timincal, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • Certainly the age factor is important, whether it be Alzheimer's or whether it be the Smiley-Blanton syndrome (which I had never heard of before).
    But really it need not depend on age. People exposed to certain tales, stories, possibly biased news accounts over and over again, as the Roswell witnesses have been (think how many times some of them have been interviewed, reinterviewed, tape-recorded, hypnotically regressed, filmed for TV and movies, radio broadcasts, shown numerous pro-ET articles by UFOlogists and so on), can easily get a 'high' and begin to think their experience was of far greater import than it really was.

    There is also the problem of subtle interviewer pressure, depending on the interviewer's own bias.
    The witness wants to please, to confirm the interviewer's own feelings. He wants to feel part of the story, part of the excitement, with maybe an eye towards fame or seeing one's name in print, hearing his voice on radio or seeing his face in a film. This can cause a witness to come out with the most extraordinary remarks, made without any real thought or consideration to the consequences thereof.

    If a someone comes out with words to the effect that: "this was beyond doubt something not of this earth, an alien craft", my first response is to say: "Sorry Mr X, but there is no such thing known to science, either then or now, so how can you make such a sweeping statement? How did you acquire this amazing knowledge?"

    In the case of Anthony Bragalia's fireman, I do wonder exactly when he first began relating his story to his son and, further, whether he got the whole tale from what he had read & heard about the Roswell case in the years since it first came to light in 1980.

    By Blogger cda, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • You naysayers who never believe what credible saw or say must not believe in the Bible or God either because their is more proof of UFO's then the above by more informed and generally more intelligent people that believed in heresay in a less communical time. Please be consistent!

    By Blogger Michael, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • Michael:

    It's not's a matter of looking at things logically or scientifically.

    Scrutiny of things might allow for the truth to prevail.

    Taking into account all things possible, which one should certainly do when it comes to UFOs (or religion), is what the human mind and we are supposed to do, isn't it?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • One problem I have with this testimony is that it is of events that took place over 60 years ago. A second problem, as others have pointed out, is that the witness is 90 years old. Of course there are people that age and older who are clear-minded and sharp; but there are many more for whom time has taken its toll.

    Moreover, we tend to ignore our old folks, put them away in homes, get them out of sight. It may well be that this person was lonely and offered an interesting story, just to have some attention. What's he got to lose?

    Given the enormous amount of material generated about Roswell, I can't even imagine what might be compelling evidence that it was something extraterrestrial. Photos? No way. I can make UFO's and aliens. Documents? No, not really. Too many forgeries have already been produced. Films? No, not after the "autopsy" hoax.

    Here's a scenario: The military is working on some secret project, and something goes wrong. It crashes, and there are witnesses. The military uses disinformation to misdirect attention, by insisting it's a weather balloon, and denying that it's an alien spacecraft. No one believes it's a balloon; so they go running off in pursuit of aliens, and miss the secret device.

    The beauty of this is that no matter how hard you dig for the "truth" about aliens, you'll never find it, because there weren't any. In the meantime, the secret project remains unsuspected, lost in all the chatter about aliens.

    There is no compelling evidence to support the notion that the Roswell incident involved an alien spacecraft.

    By Blogger chiron613, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • But Chiron...

    What would that secret project have been, and where is it today?

    Just asking...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 08, 2009  

  • The two most important pieces of data here are that people are still alive who were in the area at the time. It's just testimony for sure, but at least that is some hope others will provide far more conclusive data. Second, the story of the military threatening people. As of this date there has yet to be any confirmation from our government of any interest in UFOs that would warrant such threats and confrontations. This must be addressed asap as any culprits involved may still be alive. No citizens of the U.S. are to be threatened and that's the main issue. If there are no branches of the government that are allowed to handled such events, then citizens involved in such events should be allowed to use their arms for defense against such.

    By Blogger Greg, at Monday, March 09, 2009  

  • There was no mention of the shape of the craft. Why? I saw a chrome sphere flying down to Nashville, Tenn in the 80's
    it tracke the plane for 10 mins. everyone saw it. no tail , no wings just a sphere maybe 15 feet in diameter.
    then it shot away.. looping down
    and then back up into the clouds within a second or two. I wrote about it on youtube under josephdupont orb

    By Blogger joe dupont, at Monday, March 09, 2009  

  • Thanks, guys, but neither one of those is the one I saw. Like I said, there was a military jeep directly behind the two men (there may have been a couple of other men in the background moving through the picture). And it was referred to as an image taken during the Roswell recovery.

    By Blogger Mai, at Monday, March 09, 2009  

  • This elderly fireman's story sounds authentic to me. I summarize this because I have a 92 year old father who is in real good shape, both physically and mentally. He flew B-25's in the South Pacific in WW2. When we discuss his service, he remembers it quite well, and it would be unlikely and most likely impossible for him to "make up a story" about his service. He has enough trouble remembering his experiences, would not be realistic for him to amend or make up memories.

    This is why I think the elderly fireman would NOT be fibbing or making stories up.

    Be that as it may, I have personally read several books and have studied the Roswell incident for many years. The last book I read, which I strongly recommend, is "Witness To Roswell".

    There is no doubt the incident was flying saucers and extra- territorials, no doubt about it.

    If one does not have a similar conclusion, one has NOT studied the incident thoroughly.

    By Blogger DalGuy, at Tuesday, March 10, 2009  

  • Putting all the squabbling aside, I just want to say congrats on find this guy. Assuming he is who he says he is and is telling the truth it may be one of the last pieces of witness testimony to emerge for the Roswell case.

    I look forward to further developments. (There will be further developments right? A video interview? Affidavit?)

    By Blogger Gareth, at Wednesday, March 11, 2009  

  • Sorry for the double post, but DalGuy? C'mon man, you cant be serious? Also I cant believe you would so misjudge this blog and its commenter as to expect agreement from a comment like:

    "There is no doubt the incident was flying saucers and extra- territorials, no doubt about it.

    If one does not have a similar conclusion, one has NOT studied the incident thoroughly."

    Thats an absurd thing to say here for one. And secondly there isnt a scrap of evidence to suggest it was ET or even a disk-shaped craft. Its all anecdotal.

    Im going to leave it there in case you're pulling our collective legs.

    By Blogger Gareth, at Wednesday, March 11, 2009  

  • Can you imagine that life inteligent enough to build a space craft and navigate through the universe to our planet would then not be smart enough to land safely? Where in your mind are these advanced being stupid enough to crash after all that effort?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 21, 2010  

  • If this testimony was related to any other phenomena which was backed up by similarly vast quantities of evidence we wouldn't hear a peep from the head in the sand skeptics and debunkers but as usual the irresistible urge to debunk overcomes these people. Their arguments are based on nothing more than conjecture and supposition. Now they're asking us to accept the fallacy that "most" old people have memories that are unreliable, another baseless supposition. The worldwide statistics re the prevalence of dementia in those aged over 90 is around 28%, of course this figure varies according to culture, country etc. Can the skeptics present us with proof that the gentleman in question does indeed fall into this category ? If they cannot then their argument is flawed as are most of their arguments. Ets exist and they visit Earth regularly, the documented evidence is massive as are the number of eyewitnesses MILLIONS! So why don't these fool debunkers simply GO AWAY and stop wasting our time. We should encourage their silence by ignoring them, "don't engage with these idiots they're aim is to distract us" and use our energies more usefully.

    By Blogger Flix, at Friday, August 20, 2010  

  • Flix:

    The literature about old-age memory is replete with caveats for those relying on memory to ascertain truths.

    Get your hands on that literature so you don't look like a boob.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, August 20, 2010  

  • Hey RR
    the Firemen are not lying, or just think they were there. bonehead. Who do you think is first on scene to an accident, car, plane, any ? Its the Fire Department. They arrived on scene before any Military Personal, Ect.. And stayed there until they did arrive. You can't just leave the scene of an accident unsecured. They were MADE to leave & not to talk about it.. so RR I think you should give all them firemen, ect. some credit, some respect. dig deeper u will find the records.

    By Blogger dann, at Wednesday, September 29, 2010  

  • This proves nothing, more 3rd party BS! American's - your just so gullible, under educated, and over "eaten"! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, April 27, 2012  

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