"Always Telling the Truth Means Never Having to Remember Anything"
By Dennis Balthaser
Upon returning to Roswell on Sunday, I prepared my recorded notes to share with the staff on Monday, and played the tape for them, which we reviewed. I was still bothered by the way things had transpired, and felt cheated and betrayed. I was now looking for reasons why things happened like they had, so I offered to call the son again to ask him how the OSI got involved.
On Tuesday night I called him, however this time I asked for a different name than the one he had given us originally. Just prior to my meeting ending with the two agents in Oklahoma, the agent wrote something on a piece of a paper, folded it up, handed it to me, and said don't look at it until later. Due to the amount of information I was trying to absorb and get recorded as notes, and a real desire to get back home, I did not look at the paper until I had returned to Roswell.
The paper had a name and phone number written on it. The phone number was the same number we had been given by the son, but with a different name. So when I called the son on Tuesday night, a female answered the phone again and I asked for the new name I had been given. After a short surprised pause she said, uh, one moment. Their was then a considerable pause while she obviously was checking with someone.(I had caught her off guard.) He nervously came back on the phone and said, "I'm sorry I think you might have a wrong number." I then asked for the name of the son we had been using for the past two weeks, and again with a short pause she said, "Yes, just one moment."
I again waited for a long time until the son picked up the phone and said hello. I said this is Dennis Balthaser in Roswell, he said "OK." I said, "I guess it's obvious why I am calling." He paused and said, " Uh-yeah, is it possible we can talk later?"
When I said I'd prefer to talk now, he informed me that he was not in a position to be talking to anyone right now. I asked when he would suggest. When he hesitated, I continued telling him, my main concern was how the OSI got involved, and the position I was put in, after he and I had an agreement, to keep confidentiality and all that. In an extremely nervous, uncomfortable voice he said, "Mr. Balthaser, I have somebody here right now." I asked him if he could call me collect later. He said "I'm going to try." I told him, "I'm very concerned about what happened, not only to myself, but on behalf of the museum, and because of the position we were put in, and also the fact my son could have been involved. " I contiued by saying that he wasn't, as far as I knew, but I wanted to know why things happened like they did, and I that I wanted to know what he knew about it. I also wanted to know where we were going from here.
After another long pause a new voice came on the phone, and in a very short period of time, I realized this was another agent, still in Oklahoma, 5 days after they had arrived. It was now very obvious to me that I was outnumbered and the interception wall I had faced, had just become higher.
This voice said, "Mr. Balthaser," (It was my turn to pause) and he said, "Hello." I responded, "Yes sir." He asked how I was doing.
"You do not know me, and we'll keep this very anonymous. The gentleman you called is cooperating with my office, and, I think that anything that has been addressed concerning what his father had in his possession, uh, we can probably maybe-uh-we can probably work something out where the museum will benefit from this as much as we will." I said "Yes," and asked him if he was the same man I had the meeting with on Saturday night. He replied, "No sir, no sir, you talked with one of our field agents. I'm sure you talked with a Mr. Ed Thomas."
I agreed Ed was his first name. He said, "He was sent by us and a young field trainee who was also with him. " I said, "Christie," and he said, "Yes." He then informed me, what we needed to do, and stopped to get the pronunciation of my last name, which he was pronouncing close to correct, and I told him, "That's right, Balthaser."
He said, "Well , Mr. Balthaser, what we need to do right now is keep this very anonymous, and keep it kind of hush-hush, cause what we're dealing with here is probably something that, well, never should have got out to the public, and my office right now is very interested in it, and we're talking with the son, and we want to keep his name quite anonymous on this. From past experience, I found that people that have knowledge of certain things that the government won't, uh, they have a, well, we don't need to discuss that, you're pretty sure what I'm talking about."
I laughed and said, "Sure."
"So what I'll do," he said, "is I'll hand you back over to the son, and we will probably shorten this phone call right now, and probably like I said, I'm sure the museum was quite interested in this and I'm sure the museum would go to great expense to find out exactly what this material is, but with our office, we're assigned to track down certain entities like this, and you being an investigator, you can probably appreciate this." He continued by telling me, "We do not want to strong-arm anybody, but the son preferred," he said, "that he would like us, since we are the Federal government, and we're funded by the Federal government, to go to maybe as much extend to try and identify what his father has in his possession, and again I appreciate your time and effort."
Since I now knew the government had the metal, and that I had been prevented from talking to the father or the son in Oklahoma or in this phone call, I decided to stay with it, and not let the call be a short call as he had suggested.
The agent told me he didn't know what the son and I had talked about, so I told him there was confidentiality involved when he first contacted us about his father, his concerns, and we wanted to honor that, and I was taken off guard when things didn't work out the way they were planned, between he and I, Friday and Saturday. He said, "Correct." I said that apparently I wasn't aware, or ready, for it when it happened, and I was merely calling tonight to see where I stood, as I believe I was told by the agent that my phone and the museum phones were tapped.
He laughed and said, "Well Mr. Thomas has been with us since, oh Lord ! I can't remember when. He's been with us quite a while. He has a lot of insight on things that are going out and around what we like to call the ufology community, and it's one of his speciality areas. "
I told him I'd gathered that.
He said, "And basically where I come in, because I come directly from Langley Air Force Base there in Virginia, with Langley, it is our assessment, and our duty, and probably our number one assignment, that when we get these inputs that maybe somebody has something maybe out of the ordinary, and something maybe quite unusual," at which point I interrupted him and said, "Maybe something the American people should know about?"
He said, "Well Mr. Balthaser, you know there's a lot of things the American people, maybe they feel they have the right to know, but believe me, you know being an investigator you would probably appreciate this, this keeps the panic button to a minimum. A lot of people suspect certain things but the majority of the things we do recover, we generally find out a lot of it's hoax and stuff." He continued, " But here in this man's retrospect, he has something very unusual, very unusual indeed, and you know it's our assessment that we need to find out exactly what it is."
Knowing the government had the metal and had interviewed the gentlemen in Oklahoma, I decided to ask the agent a question: "What assurance can you give me or possibly the museum that we could have results of whatever tests you run or whatever you find out on it?"
Here he decided to re-identify me by my last name and asked me what my first name was. He said, "OK, Dennis, my name is Charles, and you can call me Charles if you want to. I suppose because of the question I had asked, we were now on a first name basis." He said he'd been with the agency since 1973, and said, "You know I've been around the block a few times on certain matters concerning what we like to call unusual."
"Dennis I can tell you, I'm sure the agent told you the other night, that maybe we can work together here. It's very unusual that we work with the ufology community and everything, but since your museum there in Roswell has a pretty good standing and credibility to us, I think the American public when their interested or kind of looking for certain answers, or their just curious, a lot of people go to Roswell to visit the museum, I'm pretty sure I'm correct on that. "
I told him he was exactly right, and what might be surprising to him was that what we present, is both sides. I said, "We do not try to convince anybody one way or another. We present information as a museum, and let the visitors make up their own mind. " He said, "Correct."
He then said, "Dennis let me ask you a question. Did you suspect that we were here this evening, or did anybody call you that we were here?"
I said "No", (and I really didn't expect an agent to still be there when I called).
He said, "OK, we were just curious, we had a car drive by out here in front of the son's residence for the last hour, however they haven't driven by in the last 30 minutes."
I asked him what kind of license plates. He said, "Well it had New Mexico plates, and I was curious about this." I responded by telling him, "Since I'm being taped, I can assure you I'm, in Roswell. He laughed and said, "Well I'm sure you are too, all our phone calls are monitored Dennis, as you probably well know."
He continued by saying, "Dennis what I can do, and I'm not exactly sure what you and the agent talked about Saturday, as I've not read his report yet, but Dennis I can assure you, probably what you and the agent discussed is pretty factual, OK, and if he didn't tell you I will over the phone. Whatever we find out about this metal, and whatever circumstances we do come up with, our office has a policy, we don't bull around with nothing. This is unusual and if our scientists don't know what it is their going to label it UNKNOWN, but we have a good 90% batting range in identifying certain elements with metals. We also have people there in Langley with photographs in the laboratory, and a lot of the stuff we get involved with we're able to identify it."
"Now this metal here, somewhere down the road I'm sure we'll find some kind of priority, that maybe it's got some kind of earth elements, or maybe it's part of a meteorite, or maybe it's a piece of some aluminum material, we're not sure, it doesn't look like a piece of a meteorite. Again we're not sure, I can't go to an assumption by just looking at it."
I told the agent that I had talked to the son, and from what he described the metal looking and acting like, it appeared to resemble some of the metal described as the Roswell metal of 1947, but that is not factual, because that metal has not been tested that we're aware of. He said right, that was correct.
I asked the agent to keep me informed of what develops with the metal. I said youÕre right on target as to the museum being a service for the public, and our goal is to make information available.
The agent said , "Let me ask you a question here, you've been and investigator, and in the field long enough, you know the calls are being monitored, it's being recorded. This name you used when you first called tonight, where did you get this name?"
I said that name was given to me, and it was the same phone number as the son's. He said, "Well Dennis, in confidentiality I would like to keep the son's name confidential." I said I could do that, and he responded, "I sure do appreciate it." He said we would stay in touch. "We have your name and number and the other agent got your card, and probably has filed everything with the office."
He asked when was the best and most convenient time to get in touch with me and I asked if he wanted to contact me at my residence, or at the museum. He said, "Well let's do it under a professional manner, whatever is more acceptable for you."
I suggested my residence , due to it's being easier to contact me after 9pm, because during the day I'm all over the museum. He said ok. He told me the agent I had met was supposed to turn in all of his reports by Friday, cause he was doing an assignment down in San Antonio, which he described as a craft landing south of there and that the MUFON people in Seguin, Texas got a bunch of witnesses stirred up. I said, " Are you telling me your pretty busy?" to which he laughed and said, "We are pretty busy."
He concluded by saying, "Well Dennis we will be getting a hold of you, and our people are flying out of here in Oklahoma in the morning and going back to Langley. We have your information and we'll be in touch, and when we find out what we're dealing with here, and basically you were the first one that tapped in on it, and our office doesn't do any strong arm tactics and threatening." (You might have noticed that was the second or third time he told me his office didn't do any strong arm tactics). He said , "When we get wind of something unusual we investigate it. That's our job and that's what we're paid to do. We're making sure that the American tax dollars are well spent. So Dennis I appreciate you calling and we'll be in touch."
And thus my experience with the "interception" by government agents ended (at least for the time being), knowing they had the metal, had interviewed the son and the father in Oklahoma, and my life was changed forever.
Next: Lots of Questions
Copyright, © 1997 Balthaser
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