Haut’s Daughter tells how affidavit came to be
(MUFON Journal, Sept. 2007)
By Julie Shuster
Since the release of the signed affidavit by Walter Haut, there have been comments issued by the general public, members of the UFO field, and “researchers,” to name a few. The comments have been made on radio shows, in print, and on the internet. Some of the comments have been positive and respectful, while others have been designed to destroy his credibility and that of the UFO Museum.
This is a onetime statement made on the subject of that affidavit. Any further discussions will go without an answer or acknowledgement of any kind.
Affidavit written by Don Schmitt after years of discussion with Haut
My father, Walter G. Haut, discussed the information contained in the affidavit with Don Schmitt over a number of years, both in person and on the phone. With my knowledge and that of my father’s, Don’s research partner, Tom Carey, was privy to the information discussed. My father was comfortable with those discussions, since he knew at that time nothing would be made public. His confidentiality was honored.
Affidavit carefully reviewed by Haut before signing
When the discussion of a signed affidavit was brought up, my father agreed to allow Don to put in writing the information they had discussed. The statement was prepared and emailed to me. Once it was received at the Museum, my father and I verbally discussed each and every sentence. We both had copies. With each sentence, I asked him if the information was correct, or if there was anything he wanted to change. A couple of times, he read and re-read a few of the sentences before giving me an answer. When we had completed reading the information, I left both copies of the statement with him and went to my own office. This allowed him to review the information with no one around and no interference.
When I went back to his office, we went over it again, point by point, to make sure of any changes, corrections, or deletions. He said he did not want to make any changes, so I then asked if he was ready and willing to sign the affidavit. He said he was ready.
Museum notary and outside witness also present at signing
I called the Museum notary public to the office, and I also asked a visitor to come in as a witness. With those two people watching along with me, my father signed the two copies. The notary and witness both signed each copy. Each copy was placed in an envelope, sealed, and tape was placed across the flap. My father placed his initials on the tape. Both affidavits have been and remain in my possession.
Would not have signed if anything false; there was no coercion
If my father was not willing to sign the statement because the information was false, he would not have done so. If he was being forced or coerced into signing the statement, the witnesses, and in particular the visitor, had the opportunity to stop the process by not signing. I was a facilitator in getting this information recorded.
My father died in December 2005. The statement was completed in December 2002. Three years difference makes a statement an affidavit of information, not a “deathbed confession.”
Father and family did not profit from affidavit information
If my father, myself, my family, or the Museum were looking for this statement to benefit any of us, let me be clear about how it came to light. We did not push it or promote it in any way. The statement was quietly released in a book written by people my father and I trust. You will not see the statement on the wall of the Museum at this point. I will not say it won’t be there at some point, because it will be. It is an important part of what we are here for, of what we are all about. If there was a benefit to be gained, then the July festival would have been the time to make a big splash. My parents were never in any of this for profit or publicity, both of which they could have had for the asking any time my father would have made his statement public.
One final comment—Walter Haut was my father. Other than immediate family, there is no one who knew him better. I was blessed to work with him from the fall of 2000 until early 2005. We talked a great deal about the incident, about the Museum and many other things.
As his daughter, I was privileged to often observe his decision making at work. I respected him immensely, as I respected both of my parents. They were honest, hard working, loving people who I will cherish to my own dying day.
Recently a neighbor of mine and I were talking about my father. His parents knew both of my parents, so he asked his mother about my father and his involvement in the 1947 incident. He quoted her as saying, “If Walter Haut said it happened, then it happened.”
So to the UFO field of “researchers” stating facts they know nothing about, to the skeptics who seem to think the only way to make a point is to destroy people and their reputations, and to those who have personal grudges—“ENOUGH!!”
(Signed) Julie A. (Haut) Shuster
Daughter of Walter and Lorraine Haut
Director of the International UFO
Museum, Roswell, New Mexico.