"Always Telling the Truth Means Never Having to Remember Anything"

-Dennis Balthaser


Editorials: Witnesses

By Dennis Balthaser

Can We Believe Roswell Witnesses





Over the years I have interviewed and become acquainted with several first hand witnesses to the 1947 Roswell Incident. I believe they were, in fact, involved with the incident based on the information obtained, however, in some cases I have questioned the extent of their involvement, and the confirmability of their stories is troubling. I have found that three things usually transpire when interviewing or talking to witnesses. Many times they will embellish their involvement; lie about it; in some cases refuse to talk about it. That’s where the problem begins in trying to determine whether their information is verifiable.


Maj. Jesse Marcel


I strongly believe that Major Jesse Marcel was the “scapegoat” for the Roswell Incident, due to being forced to pose for pictures with a weather balloon in the office of General Ramey. The photo in General Ramey’s office of Marcel posing with weather balloon debris on the floor is a dead giveaway if you look at the expression on Marcel’s face. He does not want to be in that picture as the top intelligence officer in the world with the atomic bomb group. Several things in that picture caught my attention, since I was in the military myself. He is not wearing his necktie (laying on the heater radiator), his shoes aren’t polished, and he has a hole in the knee of his pants. This is totally unlike an officer in the Generals office. The photos of Marcel with a weather balloon were needed quickly. The brown paper under the debris on the floor appears to be off of a new roll of brown wrapping paper (not crumpled or wrinkled), indicating the debris being shown was never wrapped in the paper and brought from Roswell to General Ramey’s office in Fort Worth Texas. For me those photos are the cover up.


Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr.


Major Marcel’s son, Jesse Jr., was also a career officer in the military and in fact was called back to active duty to go to Iraq at the age of 68, because the Army needed doctors. He retired a second time and became a doctor at the veterans hospital in Helena, Montana, where he lived after retiring from the military. As an eleven year old, Jesse handled the material his dad brought home from the debris field when Major Marcel stopped by the house before being called to General Ramey’s office.  I’ve done lectures with Jesse, we’ve emailed each other, had dinner together with our wives several times, and I don’t believe there are any better witnesses than the Marcels. Jesse Jr. passed away in August 2013, and I miss communicating with him.


Robert Shirkey


I interviewed Lt. Robert Shirkey (ret.) several times before he passed away, and made a Freedom of Information request to the Military Records Center in St. Louis about his telling me that shortly after the incident happened, he was abruptly transferred to the Philippines. There are no records that he was ever transferred, however he showed me photos of his being there. I believe he was transferred and his records were manipulated to not show the transfer. Lt. Shirkey was the weights and measures officer for the 509th atomic bomb group in Roswell when the incident occurred. He told me he witnessed some debris being loaded into an airplane while standing at the Operations building with then Base Commander Col. Blanchard, head of the atomic bomb group.



Art McQuiddy was the editor of the other Roswell newspaper in 1947, “ The Roswell Morning Dispatch”. Thanks to Stanton Friedman I was able to interview him on October 12, 2012.  He passed away at the age of 95.  Art was extremely sharp for his age, and I had a long conversation with him about his past and his knowledge of the Roswell Incident.  As the morning newspaper back then, Art said, “Being a morning paper, I  didn’t get the exclusive story the Roswell Daily Record reported the previous afternoon.”  It was written by Public Relations officer Walter Haut, stating we had captured a flying saucer.  Art said he had dinner with base commander Col. Blanchard several times at the base Officers Club, and in one such meeting Blanchard told Art “he had seen something at the Roswell base he had never seen before.” This was the same Col. Blanchard that was in charge of the 509th atomic bomb group that dropped the bombs on Japan to end WWII.


There are other credible witnesses that I have interviewed, but I have to look at others that we know were definitely involved and their accounts raise serious questions. The ones I’ll describe were involved directly with the incident in 1947, which has been easily verified over the years, but I personally have some questions about their involvement as it’s been told or reported over the years.


Glenn Dennis and Dennis Balthaser


Glenn Dennis was the mortician at Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell in 1947.  In his account he has stated that “he delivered an injured airman to the base hospital in the funeral home ambulance”, but upon arrival there, didn’t recognize any of the nurses or doctors. When he went inside, thinking there had perhaps been a plane crash, he asked questions about what was going on and he claimed that a 6’2” red-headed captain threatened him not to back to town and talked about it.  A nurse he did know at the hospital told him, “You better get out of here before you get in trouble.” The next day the nurse called asking him to meet her at the officers club where she apparently drew pictures of aliens while she had been taking notes for a pathologist examining the bodies. That drawing has never been found, and what we have today is a sketch Glenn had done based on his memory years later.


Glenn Dennis’ sketch


Glenn tried to contact the nurse the following day and was told she was no longer at the base. He got an address and his letter to her was returned unopened and stamped “deceased” in red letters across the envelope.  Glenn gave the wrong name of the nurse to two researchers, who searched for 5 years, until Glenn finally admitted that wasn’t her name; “he was protecting her.” While I was at the UFO Museum as a volunteer every day from 1996-1998, I heard Glenn talk to museum visitors about how beautiful the nurse was, and Glenn told me one day at the Museum that the nurse’s brother flew through the base one time, and the nurse introduced Glenn to her brother. My thought on that comment by Glenn is, when you start meeting family members that sounds like more than a casual acquaintance he might have had with the nurse. Like many other key witnesses, Glenn passed away August 25, 2015 at the age of 90, so we may never know who the 6’2” Captain that threatened him was, who the nurse was, or where the original drawing of the aliens is.


Another key witness I have problems with is Walter Haut, the Public Relations Officer at the Base in 1947.  Walter, along with Glenn Dennis and a business man, Max Littell, were the original founders of the UFO Museum which opened in 1991. I visited with Walter every day also for the 2 ½ years I volunteered at the museum. Walter was extremely likeable and for many years his story about his involvement was unchanged, in that he always stated that his only involvement in the incident was writing the newspaper article under orders of the base commander. In 1997, Walter was being interviewed by a French film crew at the museum, and historical researcher Wendy Connors and I were privileged to sit in during that interview. During that interview Walter responded that he had seen bodies of the aliens in the hangar in 1947. We don’t know if he intentionally mentioned it or if it slipped out.  Wendy and I decided to interview Walter and try to obtain more information from him, so in 1998 we did a 3 ½ hour oral history video interview with Walter, which we have copyrighted, approved by his daughter, (the museum director at the time) and with Walter’s approval.  With a little coaxing by Wendy, Walter again described what the bodies looked like. The information Wendy and I had obtained showed up in the last affidavit Walter did prior to his death, written by another researcher, not by Walter.  Walter had 3 or 4 affidavits about his involvement, so the problem for me is did he in fact see the alien bodies in the hangar, or was his only involvement writing the article published in the Roswell Daily Record on July 8, 1947.  Walter passed away in 2005, so like Glenn Dennis’ account, we may never know the truth on these two first-hand witnesses. Glenn Dennis was the mortician, and Walter Haut was the public relations officer in 1947, that’s factual. Their accounts about their involvement remains debatable.


Dennis G. Balthaser

website: www.truthseekeratroswell.com

email: truthseeker@dfn.com



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