Found: The Archaeologists
The following information supports the evidence that Barney Barnett was telling the truth when he told others he had been at the crash site of a strange object and saw something other than a balloon, an object and alien-looking bodies in the summer of 1947. It also indicates why there has not been found any supporting evidence for a crash in the Plains of San Agustin. The crash site was just north of Roswell. Not only have the previously unidentified archaeologists been found, but several confirmed the information mentioned by Barney Barnett. Earlier, there was no proof that Barnett had been on the Plains on the day in question. And never has anyone accused Barnett of lying. The following updated report convincingly explains what happened and why some previous information has been conflicting. This is only the beginning. There are more witnesses to be found. Our thanks to Kevin Randle for his permission to post this web page.
Kevin D. Randle:
Bill Moore, writing in his 1985 paper about the status of his Roswell investigation, said that the link to the University of Pennsylvania had been confirmed. (3) He offered nothing in the way of evidence that it had been confirmed, just that statement.
As our investigation began in 1989, there was no reason to assume that the Barnett testimony was in error in any fashion. The conventional wisdom accepted the Barnett story at face value, and the search for the archaeologists, potential first-hand witnesses to the craft and bodies, was launched. Following the well-mapped route, we began the task of learning who was working in the state of New Mexico in July 1947, with an emphasis on those working in the area of the Plains of San Agustin.
Records were available listing who was where and what was being done. The archaeological literature provided additional clues, and while some of the records available at the Museum of New Mexico, and the Laboratories of Anthropology both in Santa Fe and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, might be incomplete, the articles contained acknowledgement sections listing local help and amateurs who assisted on the projects. In other words, there was a paper trail that would lead back to the archaeologists if any had been involved.
The archaeologists who were working on the Plains or near the Plains in July have been identified and eliminated. All of them have denied knowledge of anything happening there. (4) Friends of them were located and questioned, in the hope of a lead, but none developed. The only conclusion that could be drawn was that none of them had been involved.
Given the situation, it would be easy to decide that the story of archaeologists had somehow been created between what Barnett actually said and what those he spoke to heard. The Barnett end of the story was created from second-hand testimony, and it is possible that something had been misunderstood. Since no one can now interview Barnett to ask him, investigators were forced to speculate about his testimony
It would have been easy to ignore the archaeologist connection if not for two additional facts. On February 15, 1990, just about a year after we began to actively investigate the Roswell case, a man claiming to be one of the archaeologists called.
According to him, they had been surveying the general area looking for "signs of occupation that predated the arrival of the white man."
That was interesting but entirely irrelevant. Anyone reading anything about the Roswell case would have been able to invent that detail. It was clear from the little that had been said that early-man sites were of interest to archaeologists working in New Mexico. However, when asked if he was one of the archaeologists who had been on the Plains, he said, "No. We were working north of the Capitan Mountains."
That was the new wrinkle. No one had suggested that the archaeologists had been working anywhere other than the Plains of San Agustin. He took it further, saying they had been driving cross-country, searching for evidence that the Indians had been in the area in the ancient past. They came up over a rise, and in the area below, "maybe half a mile, maybe more... was something that looked like a crashed airplane without wings." The caller said that it looked like an aircraft fuselage that was badly damaged, with no sign of a dome, porthole, or hatch. (5)
Interestingly, the man said that he saw another man already there. The archaeologist didn't pay much attention to the other witness, being so concerned with the crashed craft that he said he now knew wasn't an airplane. "It was more rounded." It was so badly damaged that he couldn't tell if it had been disk-shaped or not.
He only saw three bodies. They were small with big heads and big eyes. He said that the head was turned to one side, so that it was difficult to see the facial features. The beings were wearing silver-colored flight suits.
The military arrived moments later. The archaeologist thought there was an officer with them but wasn't sure. All were armed with pistols, and a couple of them had rifles. The archaeologists were ordered away from the craft and stood facing away from it. The man in charge told them that it was of vital national interest that they forget what they had seen. The man then took the names and school affiliations, telling them that grant programs and government funding could disappear if they mentioned what they had seen. (6)
They were then escorted from the area by armed guards. The archaeologist didn't mention what happened to the man who had been there first.
The intriguing aspects of the account were that he didn't report a disk and that they had been escorted from the site. Although nothing had been published about the military cordon, the archaeologist described it correctly, saying that there was an army car sitting at the side of the road with a couple of soldiers standing near it. They were turning back everyone who tried to use the road.
It was an interesting story and the man sounded sincere, but the same could be said for Gerald Anderson. In fact, from one point of view, the Anderson testimony was better because it wasn't anonymous and Anderson did supply some documentation. Only after it all fell apart was the Anderson story rejected for the hoax it was. (7)
The archaeologist changed, significantly, the location of the crash site. He placed it in Lincoln County, near the Brazel ranch. He changed the description of the craft and mentioned only three bodies. It was interesting corroboration of part of the Barnett story, but there were enough differences to suggest the man was relating what he'd seen as opposed to what he read. Unfortunately, with no other information, there was little that could be done to investigate.
But that wasn't the only lead to the archaeologists. After the "Unsolved Mysteries" broadcast of September 1989, Mary Ann Gardner came forward. She had been watching the program with her husband when she turned white and felt her stomach flip over. The story of the archaeologists was one that she'd heard about ten years earlier from a dying cancer patient.
The woman (Gardner couldn't remember her name) had been alone in the hospital. Feeling sorry for her because she had no visitors, Gardner spent as much time as she could listening to the woman's stories. Several times she told about the crash of the ship and the little men she had seen.
According to Gardner, "Basically... they had stumbled upon a spaceship of some kind and... there were bodies on the ground. The army showed up... and chased them away and... told them that if they ever told anything about it, that the government could always find them."
Gardner couldn't get the woman to say much other than that they had been "little people with big heads," and later she added, "large heads and large eyes.
Gardner thought that the military officers had covered the bodies the way police covered accident victims.
Under questioning, Gardner remembered that the woman had used the word "spaceship." Gardner thought that one of the men had entered the ship. He didn't explore it too far and then "the military was everywhere, the army people were everywhere."
The woman, according to Gardner, wasn't supposed to be there. They had been "looking for fossils. That's what she said. They were hunting rocks and looking for fossils.... She went with a friend."
Gardner said that when she first heard the story, in 1976 or 1977, she thought it was the result of a drug-induced fantasy. The woman was on painkillers because of her cancer, but she told the story half a dozen times. It wasn't until the "Unsolved Mysteries" broadcast that Gardner began to believe it. (8)
Of course, there were things to be investigated. Gardner remembered which hospital it had been and was able to provide a time frame for the event. It seemed simple enough to check the records at the hospital for the names of women who died of cancer during those years.
The hospital had been sold, but the hospital administrator said that if someone could get to Florida, the records would be available. But once that happened, there was a series of excuses as to why the records weren't available. Gardner was sure she would recognize the name if she heard it, but there was no way to learn it through the hospital.
The next best thing was to check the obituary pages of the local newspapers, but it was soon evident that the task was overwhelming. All deaths in the area, and many from the rest of the state, were listed. All hospitals were included. Without a little more information, or another way to limit the search parameters, the task was impossible. (9)
These two cases, one second hand and one from an anonymous source, suggested that the Barnett data-that a group of civilian archaeologists had stumbled onto the crash site-was accurate. It was clear through research that the archaeologists had been neither on the Plains of San Agustin nor from the University of Pennsylvania, and that was about all that was known.
There was, as outlined elsewhere, very good evidence that something unusual happened near Roswell. The Mac Brazel story had a wide range of first-hand sources, documentation, and corroboration. The Barnett story had none of these.
Tom Carey, in fact, remembered the statement made by Moore in 1985 in which Moore claimed that he had confirmed the connection to the University of Pennsylvania. He called Moore and learned that he had spoken to an archaeologist at Pennsylvania who, according to Moore, remembered the story. Moore identified him as Bernard Wailes, who was still at Penn. Wailes denied it was he, said that he hadn't arrived in this country until the 1960s and knew nothing about the UFO crash near Roswell. He didn't even remember meeting Moore. (10)
The search then had to center on the area around the Brazel ranch and the areas north of Roswell. That was where something could be documented to have happened. It was the general area identified by the anonymous archaeologist, and it was about the only clue that was left.
Those at the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe took a look at all the reports filed from the area north of the Capitan Mountains east toward Roswell. The Museum of New Mexico provided the names of those who had been working in that area from 1945 through 1955.
The two names that popped up were Donald Lehmer and Jane H. Kelly Both were professionals who had written monographs that included information from the proper region. Lehmer, unfortunately, had been killed in an automobile crash, (11) but Kelly was alive and teaching. The scientific director of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), Mark Rodeghier, spoke with her, and she said that she hadn't gotten into the region to make her study until sometime after 1948 (12) That seemed to be documented by her monograph.
Friends and advisors to Lehmer were found and interviewed. Fred Wendorff knew Lehmer well and said that Lehmer had never mentioned a thing to him. Wendorff believed that had Lehmer been involved, he would have said something. Others who knew Lehmer said that he had never mentioned it. Family members were eventually found, including a daughter, Megan, who wrote Tom Carey, "I've talked to my brothers and my father's cousin. He never mentioned anything about the Roswell incident or anything about UFOs to them." (13) That seemed to eliminate Donald Lehmer.
Since we'd already searched through the lists of professional archaeologists who had been working in New Mexico during the summer of 1947, the only thing left was to try to find the amateurs. These ranged from pot hunters to untrained people with an interest in archaeology They rarely, if ever, produced a written record, but professionals often tapped into the amateur network as they conducted their research. Often, when they finished their reports, the names of the amateurs were appended to thank them for their assistance.
The Laboratory of Anthropology library filed not only the monographs prepared by professionals, but the surveys conducted at the request of the Bureau of Land Management. Using those documents, it was possible to learn the names of some of the amateurs.
There were a number of amateurs who led back into Lincoln and Chaves counties. Lists of amateurs working around the Fort Stanton area, north and south of Roswell, and with the Museum and Art Center in Roswell were obtained. There are a number of important sites in the area, especially along the Hondo River valley leading to the west from Roswell. Those who had worked the sites were identified and, if still alive, contacted. It was another dead end. No one had any first-hand knowledge of the events, and no one was able to think of who it might have been.
Another amateur surfaced by the name of Cactus Jack. After the "Unsolved Mysteries" broadcast, Iris Foster called, telling of an old pot hunter she knew only as Cactus Jack. He told Foster that he had seen the "object which was round but not real big." He claimed to have seen four bodies and said they were small. Their blood, according to Cactus Jack, was like tar, thick and black, and stained the silver uniforms they wore. (14)
Foster couldn't remember Cactus Jack's real name, but her sister Peggy Sparks could. She said it was Larry Campbell, an old-timer who had drifted through parts of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona his whole life. Campbell, she believed, had been burned a number of years earlier in a fire in Taos and lived at a nursing home in Las Vegas, New Mexico. (15)
A search initiated at the Taos News failed to reveal any information about a fire or Larry Campbell. Carey tried to learn if Campbell had ever been in the nursing home in Las Vegas, and the answer was no. (16)Campbell, it seemed, was another dead end.
Interestingly, another Cactus Jack was located. Unfortunately he was in prison in Anthony, New Mexico. A quick check revealed that he was not old enough to be the Cactus Jack of the Roswell crash. (17)
Long lists of archaeologists and anthropologists had been located and many of the people were interviewed. They included Joe Ben Wheat, Jesse Jennings, William Pearce, Art Jelinek, Ridgely Whitman, John Speth, Regge Wiseman, and many more. The lists ranged from people who might have been involved to people who might have known who was involved.
For two years it seemed that nothing concrete could be learned. Had it not been for Gardner and the unidentified archaeologist who called, who seemed to have some inside knowledge, it would be simple to ignore this aspect of the case. The long searches, the checks at universities all over the United States, had failed to find a clue. With few exceptions, all who were interviewed were friendly and interested.
They wanted to help, but a point was reached when the names being given were the same ones already interviewed. There was nowhere to go.
Then Tom Carey received the break. A friend of a new member of Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) told Carey that her father, C. Bertram Schultz, had been telling the story of a crashed flying saucer for years. Although he wasn't an anthropologist, he was a vertebra paleontologist. He had spent time in Roswell and he had spoken to a group of archaeologists in Roswell who knew about the crash. He did, however, see the military cordon as he drove out of Roswell, speaking of guards on the western side of the highway Since he didn't want to drive off to the west, he was curious but unconcerned. (18)
The big question was: could Schultz remember the names of any of those archaeologists. According to him, W. Curry Holden was the leader of the group. (19)
Holden, at one time the chairman of the Department of History and Anthropology at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, was ninety-six years old when he was discovered. Holden, when interviewed in 1992, said that he had been there. He could remember nothing about the event, other than that he had been there and had seen it all. Each time the question was asked during the short meeting, he confirmed that he had seen it all. (20)
Later, both his wife and daughter said that he was easily confused. Memories from his life were jumbled and reordered, and he had never mentioned, to either one, that he had been involved in a flying saucer crash. (21) But Holden had been asked the question three separate times in three separate ways, giving him the opportunity to answer it differently, yet he always responded that he had been there.
Holden's papers, nearly a quarter of a million sheets, had been given to Texas Tech and were there for review. With luck, there would be something in the papers to answer the questions one way or the other.
The weekend when the ship crashed had been a three-day holiday. Holden's records revealed that he had written a check in Lubbock on July 3, that he had been invited to a wedding on July 8, and that he made a bank deposit on July 9. There was no way to prove that he had been in Lubbock on the critical Sunday when the archaeologists had been on the impact site. (22) With Roswell only two to three hours away, and given the history of the region, there was no reason not to believe that he had been there.
Schultz was sure that Holden had been one of the archaeologists. Schultz mentioned that he had seen the cordon himself, (23) and his daughters confirmed that he had been to Roswell many times, particularly to a region south of Roswell. (24)
There are records of Schultz's research as well. Schultz was in southern Nebraska before and after the right date, collecting samples, but again, there is no record of where he was on the critical dates. The field notes, available at the University of Nebraska, were inconclusive, and Schultz's personal diaries were not available. (25)
Interestingly, records from Texas Tech did put Schultz and Holden together at the University of New Mexico for the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, December 2~31, 1947. Holden attended the meeting, and Schultz spoke about "The Lime Creek Sites: New Evidence of Early Man in Southwestern Nebraska." (26)
Here were two major finds, archaeologists who had claimed to have knowledge of the events in Roswell, one first hand and one who had both first- and second hand information. But more important, both of them placed the site of the event in the Roswell area and not anywhere near the Plains of San Agustin.
The archaeologists had been found, but there weren't the revelations that had been expected. Holden, who died in April 1993, had been unable to share any additional data, and his age prevented a detailed questioning. Schultz, who could be interviewed, only related what he'd heard from Holden, and the little he'd seen himself.
Without these clues, the search would have been abandoned, but Carey couldn't let go. Without the data from the anonymous source and without the new data, the search would have to be ended. There would have been no hope.
But Carey stayed after it, reinterviewing those who had been found and rejected. He talked to Dr. George Agogino, who formally admitted that he had heard the story himself. He knew who had been there. When Carey read him the notes from the conversation with the anonymous source, Agogino said, "That's what he told me." (27)
Agogino didn't want to identify the archaeologist, because the man had made him promise not to tell. Fear of the goverument seemed to be the reason. He didn't want to get into trouble. But Agogino did tell, (28) providing a name as well as a corroborating source.
The search for the archaeologists has nearly ended. Their leader, Dr. W. Curry Holden, has been identified, and he confirmed his involvement. Corroborating witnesses have been found and interviewed. The story of archaeologists on the impact site, just north of Roswell, is true. The details provided by them have been sketchy, but we now have a better understanding of what happened on that New Mexican desert in July 1947. All that remains is to learn the names of the other witnesses and add them to the growing list of people who kept the greatest secret of the twentieth century.
Kevin D. Randle