By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
And there were others who would eventually tell of seeing the alien bodies, including Roswell AAF radar operator Kaufmann, who would later claim to have been among those ordered to the crash site where, he later told researchers Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle, authors of UFO Crash at Roswell, he saw five small aliens, all clearly dead.
Oliver "Pappy" Henderson, a World War II pilot assigned to the Roswell Army Air Field at the time, allegedly told friend Dr. John Kromschroeder during a fishing trip in 1978 that he had flown much of the debris--and the bodies of what he only described as "those little guys"--to Wright-Patterson aboard a C-47. Shortly before his death in 1986, Henderson also told the story to his wife.
In his book, The Day After Roswell, retired Colonel Philip Corso is far more graphic as he writes of a night a sentry urged him to enter an off-limits Wright-Patterson building where more than 30 crates of Henderson's cargo had been stacked against a wall, draped by large tarps. When the sentry pointed to a particular crate he'd already looked in--in clear violation of orders he'd been given --Corso opened it and shined a flashlight on its contents.
"My stomach rolled right up into my throat, and I almost became sick," he writes. "[Inside] was a coffin, but not like any coffin I'd ever seen before. The contents, enclosed in a thick glass container, were submerged in a thick light blue liquid...
"At first I thought it was a dead child they were shipping somewhere. But it was no child. It was a 4-foot human-shaped figure with arms, bizarre-looking four-fingered hands--I didn't see a thumb--thin legs and feet and an oversized incandescent light bulb-shaped head...the eyesockets were oversized and almond-shaped..."
Perhaps the most provocative story came not from a member of the military but, instead, a Roswell mortician named Glenn Dennis. Twenty-two at the time and director of the local Ballard Funeral Home, he told of receiving a telephone call from the base on the afternoon of July 5, 1947, asking if he could provide several "small," hermetically sealed caskets. Thirty minutes later, he would eventually recall to numerous researchers and journalists, he answered a second call, this time with a series of questions about the techniques of embalming and preserving dead bodies and if such processes would alter the chemical contents of blood and tissue. Finally, he reported, he was asked what happened to body tissue after it had been exposed to the elements.
Curious, Dennis says he asked if there was something he could help with and was told the questions were only "for future reference."
Later that day, Dennis recalled, he had driven an injured airman to the base infirmary. While there, he noticed an unusual amount of activity at the base hospital. Encountering a nurse named Naomi Selff in the hallway, she was clearly surprised to see him and warned that "he wasn't supposed to be there and had better leave immediately."
Minutes later, his story went, he was escorted by two military police all the way back to the funeral home.
It was not until the following day that he learned what had been happening. He phoned nurse Selff and they agreed to meet for lunch. Obviously distraught, she told him of seeing three small bodies, two of which were badly mutilated, and of being ordered by attending military doctors to take notes while they conducted their examinations. The stench of the corpses, she allegedly told him, had been almost more than she could stand. Before he returned her to her barrack, Dennis recalled, she drew sketches of the aliens on a prescription pad and gave them to him with a warning that he should "show them to no one."
That, the mortician says, was the last time he ever saw her. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to reach her by phone, he learned several days later that she had suddenly been reassigned to duty in England. Shortly thereafter, he was told that she had died there in a plane crash.
Co-founder of the Roswell museum with Haut, Dennis is currently in poor health and was unable to speak with the Observer about his well-chronicled story.
But for every true believer there are skeptics, researchers who have picked away at the colorful, unimaginable stories in search of their flaws. And they have found many. Among the debunkers is Kal K. Korff, author of The Roswell UFO Crash: What They Don't Want You to Know. He not only questions why so many waited so long to come forward with the stories but points out that many of them are, like that of Anne Robbins, hand-me-down tales allegedly kept secret until the firsthand witnesses were dead.
Korff's questions are valid: Why have some of the reported witness accounts described the downed UFO as "saucer-shaped" while others remember it being "triangular-shaped with small wings?" While most who claimed to have seen the bodies recall there being three, others say they saw as many as five. Some say all were dead, others that one or more was still alive. Descriptions of the color of the small bodies range from gray to brown. How could mortician Haut have "lost" something as important as the drawings he says his nurse friend made and gave to him? And if, in fact, so many civilians collected pieces of the strange-looking debris, why has not a single piece of it ever surfaced?
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city