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

-Dennis Balthaser


Looking Ahead to the Past


One of the things I've always enjoyed about researching the Roswell Incident, especially since I moved to Roswell in 1996, was the number of locations, structures and buildings that could be seen or visited in the area, which had a direct or indirect connection to the incident in 1947. Whenever other researchers, friends, family or media personnel visit me, I always take them to some of these locations. It adds a lot more credibility and interest to the whole Roswell story, by actually being able to see places where allegedly something happened that was associated with the 1947 Roswell Incident. In some instances, I could only state this is the location where such-and-such building was located. For example the infirmary (hospital --pictured above), at the base on what was the Roswell Army Airfield (RAAF) in 1947, has been torn down for several years, so the only thing you can see is the empty lot where the buildings once were. The old rear entrance asphalt parking area and a deteriorated concrete sidewalk and ramp are still visible if you know where to look. According to Glenn Dennis' (the local mortician in Roswell in 1947), nurse story, that was where he took the injured airman, and saw the debris in the back of military ambulances.


The Operations building on the RAAF base is still here, where Bob Shirkey (serving as Assistant Group Operations Officer), claims to have stood with Col. Blanchard, as boxes and crates were carried through the halls to be loaded on airplanes for shipment out of Roswell.


The tall red and white checked water tower is still here too, where then New Mexico Lieutenant Governor, Joseph Montoya asked his lifelong friend Ruben Anaya to pick him up at, after apparently seeing something that had shaken Montoya very deeply at the base.


Col. Blanchard's residence, while he was RAAF Base Commander and head of the 509th Composite Bomb wing is still at the base, privately owned today.


I'll discuss Hangar 84 a little later and if all the rumors and stories by witnesses are true, it may be one of the most important buildings of the millennium. Hangar 84 as we've come to know it however, may also be lost to "progress" and the future without any recognition for it's important past.


Several of the military personnel assigned to Roswell Army Airfield in 1947, still live in the same house in Roswell today that they lived in then.


The Corona debris site some 60 miles northwest of Roswell, is the only site that I have any confidence in as being involved in the Roswell Incident. One of the other sites sometimes referred to, appears to be a diversionary site, while a third site recently mentioned, doesn't according to my research, and that of several others, appear to have any validity related to the Roswell Incident. The Corona debris site was where ranch foreman "Mack" Brazel discovered the debris scattered over his ranch for a distance of three-fourths of a mile long by several hundred yards wide. I don't often credit government agencies, however in the case of the Corona debris site; I must congratulate the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In a recent Environmental Assessment of the ranch where the debris site is located, the BLM protected the site in their report with the following statement.


"One of the alleged UFO crash sites of 1947 is located on this allotment. The UFO crash site has been excluded from rights-of-way and mineral leasing. The site will be withdrawn from mining claim location, and designated a NSO (No Surface Occupancy) for oil and gas leasing".


Even though the word "alleged" is used in the BLM statement, it indicates to me, that someone within the BLM had the foresight to at least protect this property for the future.


Protecting, saving or at the least, acknowledging the importance to the Roswell Incident is not the case for several other buildings in Roswell.


Saint Mary's Hospital on the south side of town was recently demolished and completely torn down, with no indication at the former site today that it was ever there. In addition to the late singer John Denver being one of the "famous" born there, St. Mary's may have played an indirect part in the Roswell Incident, or at least two of its staff may have. It has been reported that two Catholic nuns, Mother Superior Bernadette and Sister Capistrano, reported seeing a bright fiery object go to the ground northwest of Roswell late on the evening of July 4, 1947, while looking out a 3rd floor window during the change of their shift. There was much discussion within the city of Roswell prior to the demolition of Saint Mary's Hospital, (none of the discussion however, referred to the Roswell Incident). So memories of Saint Mary's Hospital are now in the hands of the Historical Museum of Southeast New Mexico in Roswell, a few of us researchers that took pictures and a few others.


Another building that is doomed for destruction and remodeling is Sheriff Wilcox's 1947-residence and county jail. Located directly behind the Chaves County Court House, I had the good fortune of visiting the location with a few other researchers and Sheriff Wilcox's two daughters recently. The daughters shared many stories with us from their memories of growing up there, and explained where things were located in the residence and their Dad's office. They told us about their mother cooking meals for the prisoners and how the jail portion up stairs was not a place for young ladies to visit. They still had no desire to visit the empty cells when we met them recently, some 50 years later. Currently in the planning stages, it's proposed to remodel the old jail and Sheriff Wilcox's office and residence into much needed courtrooms. It's my hope that somewhere in the finished remodeling, a plaque or other memorabilia will be displayed to indicate what the building was prior to the new courtrooms. When "Mack" Brazel came to town after finding the debris at the ranch he stopped by Sheriff Wilcox's office, to see if he might know what the debris was. Not knowing what it was, Sheriff Wilcox contacted the military at RAAF and talked to Intelligence Officer Major Marcel. Some debris was hidden at the jail and later confiscated by the military. The rest of the story you know. I'll never regret taking the photographs I did inside the jail during our visit with Sheriff Wilcox's daughters, as those may be some of the only memories of this building for future reference.


Earlier, I mentioned Hangar 84. Many of us still refer to the location of the old RAAF as the "base" today, when in reality it hasn't been a military base since 1967. Many of the buildings there are leased and used for commercial use in addition to Roswell's commercial airport being located there.


Hangar 84 has special significance and importance to me because of all the reports I heard and read by witnesses, who mentioned that the crash debris and bodies were kept in the center of the hangar until shipped out, heavily guarded by military personnel. In addition, armed military guards were stationed outside around the perimeter of the hangar.


I'm not psychic or a remote viewer or anything related to those type phenomenon, but every time I've been in the hangar, I've allowed my mind to try and go back to July 1947 and visualize what the scene inside the hangar would have been like. If what we've been told is true, then this hangar could well be one of the most important buildings in man's history.


In 1997, the 50th anniversary of the Roswell Incident banquet was held inside Hangar 84. The featured speaker was Whitley Strieber (author of Communion) and as he was beginning his presentation, Roswell experienced a severe thunder storm, exactly as ranch foreman "Mack" Brazel had described 50 years ago on the ranch near Corona. The similarity almost to the hour 50 years later was unnerving to some.


In August 2000 I was honored to be interviewed inside Hangar 84 by a French film crew doing a documentary on Ufology for the French government. We found out during the filming that the hangar has been leased and will be renovated and remodeled in order to produce parts for a local bus manufacturer. If in fact the hangar is remodeled, I may have been the last researcher to be interviewed inside the hangar, as we have all known it for many years.


I've always secretly thought that the ideal location for a serious UFO museum in Roswell should have been in Hangar 84.


I'm certainly not against progress in any form, and I do not know the details of leasing properties owned by the city, or the logistics involved in some of the decisions made to lease, demolish or remodel these buildings. As a serious researcher, I would hate to see us lose all connections, in the form of physical locations related to the Roswell Incident. When the truth is known, I'd like to take my grandchildren to visit some of these locations, but in several instances already, I'll just have to show them some photographs and hope they can visualize how things might have been in July 1947.


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By Dennis Balthaser

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