Roswell and Fort Worth base witnesses
Sgt. Robert Porter: B-29 flight engineer. Porter helped load and was on the B-29 flight from Roswell to Fort Worth, where Marcel was supposed to show some recovered material to Gen. Roger Ramey before proceeding on to Wright Field, Ohio. "I was involved in loading the B-29 with the material, which was wrapped in packages with wrapping paper. One of the pieces was triangle shaped, about two and a half feet across the bottom. The rest were in small packages about the size of a shoe box. The brown paper was held with tape ..... The material was extremely lightweight. When I picked it up, it was just like picking up an empty package. We loaded the triangle shaped package and three shoe box-sized packages into the plane. All of the packages could have fit into the trunk of a car.
1st Lt. Robert Shirkey: The base assistant operations officer. Shirkey also witnessed debris being loaded onto the B-29 ..... "Standing only three feet from the passing procession, we saw boxes full of aluminum-looking metal pieces being carried to the B-29. Major Marcel came along carrying an open box full of what seemed to be scrap metal. It obviously was not aluminum: it did not shine or reflect like the aluminum on American military airplanes. And sticking up in one corner of the box being carried by Major Marcel was a small I-beam with hieroglyphic-like markings on the inner flange, in some kind of weird colour, not black, not purple, but a close approximation of the two ..... A man in civilian dress ..... was carrying a piece of metal under his left arm ..... This piece was about the size of a poster drawing board - very smooth, almost glass-like, with torn edges."
Sgt. Robert Smith: Roswell 1st Air Transport Unit. "My involvement in the Roswell incident was to help load crates of debris on to the aircraft ..... We were taken to the hangar to load crates. There was a lot of farm dirt on the hangar floor ..... We loaded crates on to three or four C-54s ..... One crate took up the entire plane; it wasn't that heavy, but it was a large volume ..... All I saw was a little piece of material. The piece of debris I saw was two-to-three inches square. It was jagged. When you crumpled it up, it then laid back out; and when it did, it kind of crackled, making a sound like cellophane, and it crackled when it was let out. There were no creases ..... The largest piece was roughly 20 feet long, four-to-five feet high, four-to-five feet wide. The rest were two-to-three feet long, two feet square or smaller. The sergeant who had the piece of material said that was the material in the crates."
Two witnesses were brought into Ramey's office and told the debris they saw came from Roswell.
J. Bond Johnson: Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter/photographer, took six photographs of the debris in Ramey's office, posed with Ramey, Dubose, and Marcel. He said "It wasn't an impressive sight, just some aluminum-like foil, balsa wood sticks, and some burnt rubber that was stinking up the office." Johnson said Ramey told him, "We've found out ..... it's a weather balloon."
Warrant Officer Irving Newton: Weather forecaster at Fort Worth. He was identified in contemporary accounts as being brought in to make an official weather balloon identification for Gen. Ramey. In original testimony, Newton indicated that when he got to Ramey's office, "he was briefed by a colonel ..... that an object had been found by a major in Roswell and that the general had decided that it was really a weather balloon and wanted him to identify it as such." Newton said, "There's no doubt that what I was given were parts of a balloon. I was later told that the major from Roswell had identified the stuff as a flying saucer but the general had been suspicious of his identification from the beginning." In a later affidavit for the Air Force, he said, "I was convinced at the time that this was a balloon with a [kite] and remain convinced ..... There were figures on the sticks lavender or pink in color, appeared to be weather faded markings with no rhyme or reason." Newton's photo was also taken with the balloon debris by an unknown photographer. (Pflock, another researcher, names Charles B. Cashon of the US Air Force as the photographer.)
Material with exotic properties
There were numerous others who claimed to have seen the debris, and many of them described various types of material having exotic physical qualities. One was a tinfoil-like material which when crumpled would not regain its original shape. Some also described pencil-like sticks with unusual qualities.
Debris field descriptions
Reports of the size of the debris field and of the ranch's ground conditions differ. There is a large range of descriptions of the size of the debris field, from Cavitt claiming the field was about the size of the 20 feet living room he was sitting in, to one account Brazel gave in 1947 of "about 200 yards diameter," to Marcel Sr.'s description "The wreckage was scattered over an area of about three quarters of a mile long and several hundred feet wide," or "It was maybe a mile long and several hundred feet wide of debris," to yet another description from 1947 attributed to Marcel saying "he found the broken remains of the weather device scattered over a square mile of land."
Bill Brazel Jr. gave an independent description very similar to Marcel's, based on what he said his father later told him, of the debris field being "about a quarter mile long or so, and several hundred feet wide."
An indirect description of debris field size came from combined statements of Bill Brazel and neighboring rancher Bud Payne. The distance between the northernmost portion of the debris field pointed out by Brazel (where he said there was a gouge) and the southern portion pointed out by Payne (where he said he was turned away by soldiers) was about three quarters of a mile.
Brazel's daughter, Bessie Brazel Schreiber said, "There was a lot of debris scattered sparsely over an area that seems to me now to have been the size of a football field. There may have been additional material spread out more widely by the wind, which was blowing quite strongly. "Like Tyree, she mentioned her father mentioning a lot of debris being near a water tank and his concern that the sheep wouldn't water there.
Descriptions of the condition of the field ranged from no disturbance at all to descriptions of deep gouges in the terrain. Marcel Sr. said, "It was nothing that hit the ground or exploded [on] the ground. It was something that must have exploded above ground." Bessie Brazel said she didn't "remember seeing gouges in the ground or any other signs that anything may have hit the ground hard."
However, Brazel Jr. said he saw a shallow groove, about 10 feet (3.0 m) wide, 500 feet (150m) long, and only a foot to 18 inches (460mm) deep, extending down to the hard shale layer underneath, "This thing made quite a track down through there. It took a year or two for it to grass back over and heal up."
Other witnesses to describe a gouge or gouges on the ground were Walt Whitmore Jr. (175 to 200 yards of uprooted pasture land in a fan shape), Roswell counterintelligence officer Lewis Rickett, photographer Robin Adair of the Associated Press, who said he tried to overfly the recovery operation but was waved off by soldiers brandishing weapons, and Gen. Arthur Exon, who said he overflew the area some months later. Exon said that in addition to various gouges, he saw auto tracks leading into the pivotal areas.
In tomorrows Journal (Part 3) - crashed spaceship, aliens, intimidation and cover-ups.