UFO Conjectures

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Roswell Slides: My Perspective by Nick Redfern

Well, I had to go out of town a couple of days ago, but got finished early and came back to see that the new Roswell controversy has reached stratospheric proportions! Since my name has been referenced in relation to all this, it’s only right that I set the record straight.

First and foremost, I should stress that I have not done any investigations into this angle of Roswell – at all. Nor have I seen the slides – or even copies of them – that everyone is talking about. I have, however, shared with various parties involved in this the data that was provided to me. And, having done so, I had it confirmed that it gelled with the data they had already uncovered.

Basically, it goes like this: earlier this year, I received a phone call, on a withheld number. The gist of it was that the caller claimed he could get access to certain slides that showed a “dead alien” that was laid out on (I think) a board or similar, and which was small and naked (aside from a cloth or towel, or similar placed over its genitals). It was reportedly humanoid and had an eerie look on its face.

It’s important to note that the caller never mentioned Roswell as the site where the photo was taken. Rather, I was told that the photographer – who I was also told was a geologist named Bernerd Ray - had a personal, direct connection to Roswell, and so the surmise was that this is where the photo was taken, given its nature and the Roswell link to the photographer.  

It was clear to me that the caller, who was elderly and who had a Texas accent (I know that, since I have lived in Texas since 2001) was not in possession of the slides, but was looking for an answer on one thing only: how much did I think they might be worth?

I replied, truthfully, that since I had not seen them, knew nothing of them, or their provenance etc, there was no way I could give even a ballpark figure. It was then alleged to me that the slides had been shared with a major TV news company (no specific company name was provided) who had been able to confirm their 1940s-era provenance – although they had not, apparently, been able to prove that the body in the slides was real or a sophisticated dummy, which makes sense, as dating the slides would not be too hard, but trying to make some sense of the images themselves would be very difficult.

Now, as far as why I got the call, I can only speculate. However, if you look at the post that Paul Kimball wrote on all this, there is a reference to Kevin Randle’s words on how the primary source involved in this controversy spent some time down in Midland, Texas, speaking with friends of the geologist. Coincidentally (or, probably not), I live right off the I-20 highway in Arlington, Texas. Although it’s a few hours’ drive, to get to Midland from where I live, you jump on I-20 and stay on it all the way to Midland.

On top of that, I do a lot of Texas-based interviews for TV, radio, newspapers, magazines etc, so my name (and contact info) is in the public domain in Texas, quite widely. And, about three years ago, I did a local TV shoot in Midland, which may explain why I was sought out – and also, the fact that I have written about Roswell.

In Paul’s post you’ll note that Kevin contacted me and we chatted about all this, which is absolutely true. It seems to be the case (although, granted, this is speculation) that my caller had been told of the slides (whether by the primary source, or in a “friend of a friend” situation) and was trying to put himself into the story, with a view to making more than a few dollars.

There are a lot of puzzles about all this, but what I can say for sure about all this is that the caller provided names and data that was not in the public domain at the time, and they were names and data that various parties involved in this story confirmed to me, when I shared the story I had been told, were indeed part of the story. It’s important to note, too, that when I brought up the name of Bernerd Ray with the parties, it was confirmed that this was the man who reportedly took the photos.

So, regardless of what the images show, there’s little doubt that my phone-caller was indeed fully acquainted with the story, the slides and much more – and before any of this became public knowledge.

It should be stressed that, in relating all the above I have not compromised any oaths, non-disclosure forms etc, as I have not signed anything. And I have not had any contact with the primary source of the story at all. What I did was to share the contents of a single phone call with the Dream Team – a phone call, which I think was from someone known to the source, and who decided to take it upon himself to become a kind of “fixer” / “player” trying to make some money, and in doing so, called me to try and get an idea of their worth.

And what is now surfacing here at Rich’s blog and at Paul’s blog (about slides, geologists, a dead humanoid, of major media attention that ultimately didn’t work out, etc) is all very, VERY similar to the story told to me on the phone and which I then shared with the Dream Team.

So, in other words, while I certainly don’t know all the ins and outs of this, I do know that, regardless of the truth or provenance (or otherwise) of the slides, the story itself most definitely does have substance.



  • Just out of curiosity, given that this story has been referred to in quite some detail here for quite a few months, how come you refrained from mentioning what you know about it?

    By Blogger Ross , at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • Ross..

    Nick had promised one of the sources of the slide info that he would not divulge the information.

    I asked Nick to come forward but he had made his promise, yet ended up encouraging me to go forward with what I knew, and what he and I had discussed for a few months.

    And with the Anonymous input, you have the brouhaha we now find.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • Nick when asked to give an estimation of value sensibly declined, but one suspect this impasse exists because parties who shall remain nameless suggested there would be a big payday in the offing; a payday they were subsequently unable to negotiate.

    By Blogger Ross , at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • Ah yes, Ross...

    The fates sometime intervene.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • Ross:

    I guess like a lot of people who write about UFOs, I receive a lot of calls, emails from people relating stories, and this was no different.

    And, very often, nothing ever happens with the material, and it just gets filed away, because the person doesn't want any publicity.

    It's probably fair to say I have hundreds of stories (from snippets to length accounts) where the person didn't want publicity.

    And as for the promise angle - I did indeed make a promise, but it was specifically (and only) on the understanding that the promise would only remain in place until someone else broke the story.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • My personal take on the money angle was that the guy who called me was a kind of "chancer" looking to make a fast buck, but I don't think he had any link with any of the DT investigators. I think his link was - somehow, directly or indirectly - with the person who has the slides.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • The provenance of this image related to both a monetary and historical valuation can only be determined by an expert outside of ufology related to the film utilized development etc.

    That the owner went the other way indicates either genuine nativity lending credence to it"s provenance
    or was a set up in order to provide an appearance of such

    That being said, the image will not resolve anything in any significant manner in of itself but rather add more kindling to a fire already in embers.

    The net effect is the same however it is valuated.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • Nick,

    My surmise is that Schmitt and Carey's willingness to sign non-disclosure agreements significantly coloured expectations as to what value could be attributed to the find.

    By Blogger Ross , at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • It's the gist of what Nick's caller told him that really set off my bull-pucky detector: that the presumed genital area was covered. Really? The U.S. military would actually be concerned about a dead anything's modesty? Sure, that's a lot more probable than a prudish (or unimaginative) model-maker inability to create an alien hoo-ha or tallywacker.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • That's actually a good point re the modesty angle, and arguably doesn't make much sense at all.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • Nick.

    in regards to the Genitals area being covered.
    i thought these beings were supposed to be covered anyway in an skin tight metallic flight suit/flight skins?
    if these slides are proved to be from the 1947 era an not faked then think its safe to say your not looking at dummies since the Airforce didnt start dropping them until the 50,s

    By Blogger Al12, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • There are probably some people reading this post who are more expert on the history of photography than I am. If so, and if I am making some statements that are not right, please correct them.

    First, in 1947, I believe that color photography was still making its way into the mainstream of amateur photography. One consequence of this was that amateurs rarely, if ever, had the capability to develop their own color photographs. It was necessary to take the exposed negatives to the local camera store, drug store, or other collection location where they could be sent to a central laboratory for developing.

    Also, at that time, there were generally restrictive laws regarding pornography--especially in states like New Mexico and Texas. Photos of genitals would quite probably have been interpreted as "pornography" in those locations, and possibly have left the photographer open to prosecution by local authorities.

    I have heard from photographer friends that it used to be the common practice of commercial film developing labs to refuse to process photographic negatives containing images they interpreted to be "inappropriate". Such negatives would simply be confiscated or returned entirely blacked out.

    These images were supposedly taken surreptitiously by the civilian geologist and would therefore have to have been developed via the commercial process, so it is entirely plausible that he covered the genitals in order to prevent his photos from being confiscated during the developing process.

    The military and intelligence agencies processed their own photos in their own labs, to preserve security, and they could have photographed anything they wanted to.

    This little detail in the description may actually be an indicator of authenticity.

    By Blogger Larry, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • Kodachrome was commercially available in 1935. The issue is the denigration of the image that usually shifts to red values. All this is dependent upon where these images were stored. If they were stored in attic in Texas subjected to withering heat etc, it is doubtful they would be pristine.

    I have many slides from that era not stored in those conditions and the shift to red values is obvious.

    As Nick said this is a highly probable hoax and of course we have the example of AJB's dead end Nititrol and that video that was laughable. Remember that one?

    Trust me he won't shut up to put up.

    I predict he will ride this one
    to the ends of the earth and go nowhere and simply waste our time with more exaggerated claims.

    Its all a load of rubbish he's trying to inflate himself with .

    If he is an expert then I am the Pope.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • So, the U.S. military lets the alleged photographer get close enough to the bodies to put a covering on them, take a couple of photographs, remove the covering and walk away with his camera. The military goes from being prudish to completely incompetent.

    Or, the model maker is prudish, unimaginative or unwilling to commit to a body morphology that would be instantly recognized as a fake.

    The idea that no lab would have developed or returned the slides is frankly laughable. The simple existence of regular human porn from that era is proof of that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, September 27, 2013  

  • I do know that, regardless of the truth or provenance (or otherwise) of the slides, the story itself most definitely does have substance.

    The story ABOUT the slides has substance. Let's not mix things up. At some point, all this talk about what may be non-existing slides might be mistaken in the future for proof that such slides exist(ed).

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Saturday, September 28, 2013  

  • Parakletos:

    Huh???? WTF?

    You quote my words, then you add:

    "The story ABOUT the slides has substance. Let's not mix things up."

    I DIDN'T mix things up. Ironically, in the very section of my words you quoted, I said:

    "...regardless of the truth or provenance (or otherwise)..."

    How is that mixing things up? I made my views on the provenance angle in the quote you cite very clear, by making sure I included the words "or otherwise"!

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, September 29, 2013  

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