Chester Lytle

Manhattan Project/AEC engineer reveals Roswell base commander Gen. William Blanchard confessed alien spacecraft/body recovery at Roswell; Army Maj. Gen. Kenner Hertford, who worked with and had a UFO sighting with Lytle, also believed Roswell an extraterrestrial event
A new second-hand Roswell witness to an alien spacecraft and body recovery was revealed in the 2008 book UFOs and Nukes by Robert Hastings As the subtitle "Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites" indicates, the book is primarily about UFO sightings and reports associated with nuclear weapons repositories, missile sites, bomber bases, and the like.  Hastings has been researching the subject for over 30 years and interviewed hundreds of military witnesses..

In the course of his research, Hastings in 1990 was introduced to Chester "Chet" Lytle by Roswell researchers Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt.  Lytle ran his own engineering firm in Albuquerque and had assisted the Manhattan Project in outside manufacturing.  In fact, he designed and manufactured the first A-bomb implosion trigger that was tested at Alamogordo in 1945.

After the war, Lytle's company continued to manufacture components for nuclear weapons.  He was also a specialist in nuclear weapons stockpiling for the Atomic Energy Commission or AEC (now the Department of Energy or DOE).  He was involved in a number of classified military R & D projects, ranging from radar development to aircraft autopilot design.  Over the course of years he held top-secret clearances with the AEC, Department of Defense, and the CIA.

When Hastings first met Lytle, Lytle related that he had both direct and indirect knowledge of nuclear weapons-related UFO sightings, but wouldn't elaborate.  Hastings persisted in getting Lytle to go on the record, and finally in 1998 Lytle granted him a two-hour recorded interview.  At first Lytle related his own sighting at Kirtland AFB (near Albuquerque) in the 1950s (disc with a dome seen through a telescope plus two other accompanying objects) while a nuclear weapon was being loaded into a B-29.  He also indirectly knew of disc sightings by pilots during nuclear weapons testing in Nevada and directly observed unknown, high-speed, highly maneuverable objects being picked up on radar at White Sands Missile Range. (pp. 54-56) (The head of the Navy's missile program at White Sands, Cmdr Robert McLaughlin, wrote an article for TRUE Magazine, March 1950, describing UFO incidents at White Sands he and others had witnessed and was convinced they were extraterrestrial. He also wrote about his sighting there in a 1949 private letter to Dr. James van Allen, also describing a 1949 NM UFO sighting by Mogul balloon personnel, including Charles Moore, and an explosion on Mars witnessed by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who also had multiple UFO sightings in NM.)

Then towards the end of the interview, Lytle unexpectedly told Hastings about Roswell.  Lytle related that he was good friends with Gen. William H. Blanchard, who had been Roswell base commander in 1947 (and then a colonel).  In mid-February 1953, both he and Blanchard had been visiting Eielson AFB, near Fairbanks, Alaska. Blanchard was now Deputy Director of Operations for the Strategic Air Command's Eighth Air Force Headquarters and helped direct the atomic weapons training of the aircrews for the B-36 intercontinental bombers, some of which were stationed at Eielson.  Lytle's work with the AEC required his supervision of the transfer of nuclear weapons from Albuquerque's Sandia Laboratory (where they were assembled) to forward bomber bases, such as Eielson.

Blanchard flew Lytle back to Chicago.  The subject of UFOs came up, because there had been some recent sightings by Air Force personnel at Elmendorf AFB near Anchorage, Alaska.  Lytle related that Blanchard then told him that an alien spacecraft had indeed been recovered near Roswell in July 1947 along with four dead humanoid bodies.

Astonished by Lytle's unexpected revelation, Hastings followed by asking, "Blanchard actually told you that the Roswell object was an alien spacecraft?" Lytle responded, "Oh, absolutely!" (p. 511)

But Lytle didn't stop there.  He said he learned more about the bodies from other high-level insiders.  Another Air Force source, unidentified, told Lytle that some of the bodies initially  had been sent to Muroc Army Airfield (now Edwards AFB) in southern California, but eventually "they all wound up at Wright Field" (now Wright-Patterson AFB), Dayton, Ohio.  Lytle said he was also privy to "leaks about autopsies on the bodies from people who had been in and seen them." (p. 512)

The bodies were stored in Hanger 5, according to Lytle.  Even though he had the highest possible clearance for atomic weapons stockpiling, he was never allowed into that area during his visits to Wright-Patterson.  He did, however, personally know the general in charge of protecting the secret, but refused to divulge his name.  He also revealed the general's secretary was the wife of his Air Force security aide when he worked with the Atomic Energy Commission at Wright-Patterson in the early 1950s.  Again he refused to divulge names. (p. 512)

A side note is that Lytle's UFO sighting at Kirtland AFB was with Army Major General Kenner F. Hertford, who between 1948 and 1952 was the Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project at Sandia Base and then became Commander of the U.S. Army Atomic Energy Department.  Hertford apparently also had a great interest in the Roswell case.  He wrote in a forward to Roswell researcher Don Schmitt's book, UFO Crash At Roswell II:  The Chronological Pictorial (1997) :

​      "First, I have been deeply impressed with the copy of your book (UFO Crash 
      at  Roswell)... Next, I was truly impressed by the visit of you and Chet Lytle.

      "…As I told you, I am almost completely convinced that the object that 
      crashed near Roswell was composed of materials not common on Earth.

      "...I still do not understand the veil of secrecy maintained for the last forty-five 
      years of the arrival on earth of an object with human-like, living beings." 

Hertford obviously knew Lytle.  And Lytle's testimony about their joint UFO sighting at Kirtland may explain why Hertford was so convinced the Roswell object was extraterrestrial.

Other materials:
Kevin Randle blog on Robert Hastings revelations about Chester Lytle
Descriptions of Roswell bodies and bodies at Wright-Patterson

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This page was last updated: December 29, 2023