Gen. Ramey's Whereabouts on July 6, 1947

Ramey's Chief of Staff Col. Thomas Dubose said Ramey was away from his command at Fort Worth when Dubose first heard of the Roswell Incident.  Regional newspaper articles prove this happened on July 6, 1947, while Ramey was attending an air show in his home town of Denton, Texas.  Thus the articles support both Dubose's account and that of Roswell intelligence officer Maj. Jesse Marcel whose memory of events indicated they first learned of the crash on July 6.

Retired Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Dubose, Gen. Roger Ramey's Chief of Staff for the Eighth Army Air Force at Fort Worth in 1947,, when interviewed by researchers decades later recalled that he first learned of Roswell while Ramey was away from the base.  Dubose received a call from Major Gen. Clemence McMullen in Washington (Deputy Commanding Officer of the Strategic Air Command and Ramey's predecessor at Fort Worth) telling Dubose of the crash at Roswell and that Dubose was to handle a highly secret shipment of debris from Roswell to Washington to be routed through Fort Worth where Dubose was to have a "colonel courier" from Fort Worth take the debris to Washington for McMullen.  Dubose said the colonel courier was Colonel Alvin Clark, Deputy Commander at Fort Worth.  The secret flight was that night. 

McMullen also told Dubose that everything was to be carried out under the strictest secrecy and instructed him not to even inform the absent Ramey, Dubose's commanding officer, until McMullen had a chance to think about how to handle it.  Of course, Ramey eventually did get informed, because he was debunking the press release from Roswell base the afternoon of Tuesday, July 8, of having recovered a "flying disc" by claiming instead all they had found was a common weather balloon with attached radar target.  This included a photo session of the balloon debris allegedly recovered from Roswell.  In the various photos were Ramey, Dubose, and Major Jesse Marcel, the Roswell intelligence officer, who had investigated the crash site, then was ordered to Fort Worth on July 8.

Skeptics have questioned the memory of Marcel that rancher Mack Brazel took him back to the crash at Brazel's ranch late in the afternoon, he had to spend the night there, then investigated the large crash site all day before returning to Roswell late that night, awakening his family to show them the unusual debris, then reporting back to the base early that morning. 

According to Marcel's story, this meant Brazel reported the crash on Sunday July 6 (Marcel recalled eating lunch when he received the phone call from the Sheriff's office), spending the night of July 6/7 at the ranch, investigating all day Monday, July 7, then returning to Roswell the night of the 7th/8th, and reported to his commanding officer Col. William "Butch" Blanchard the morning of Monday July 8.

But according to most newspaper accounts, primarily from Associated Press, Brazel didn't arrive in Roswell until Monday July 7, reported to the Sheriff, who called Marcel, and then Marcel returned to the ranch with Brazel that afternoon, spending only a few hours there.  (There were some contrary stories, primarily from United Press quoting the Sheriff, who reported Brazel came to Roswell "the day before yesterday," which would have been Sunday, July 6.)

However, when I reviewed newspapers from Fort Worth and nearby Denton, Texas, Ramey's home town, it turned out that Ramey was attending an air show as a dignitary on July 6 for the newly opened airport at Denton.  In fact, one ad in the Denton newspaper indicated he was to make a dramatic entrance by leading a formation of B-29s flying in from Wendover Field, Utah, at 2:00 p.m. Afterward he was to give a speech between 2:30 and 3:00. After the various dignitaries spoke, Army and Navy planes were to engage in additional acrobatics and maneuvers, with the show lasting until 5:00.  Likely after the air show was over, Ramey would also visit his parents and other family in Denton before returning to Fort Worth 40 miles away.  This jibes with another of Dubose's memories that Ramey was on leave visiting his family and other business when he first got the Roswell call from McMullen.  Clearly Ramey was not at the base and tied up with other business on the afternoon of July 6 when Dubose indicated he first got the call from McMullen.

Another important detail from the Fort Worth newspaper is that attending the air show  with Ramey was the Fort Worth base commanding officer Colonel Hewitt T. Wheless (background).  This would also be consistent with Dubose's memory that the "colonel courier" for the secret debris shipment was the Deputy Commander Col. Clark, who was available at the base, unlike Wheless.  If Clark, the acting commander, was the courier, clearly this shipment was considered to be of high importance..

Thus the newspaper accounts of Ramey and Wheless being away in Denton, Texas, on July 6 support both Dubose's and Marcel's accounts of what happened.  Rancher Brazel did indeed first come to Roswell on Sunday, July 6, probably around noon, bringing some sample debris with him, this information was sent by Roswell C/O Blanchard up the chain of command to Gen. McMullen, who then called Dubose that afternoon and ordered him to ship the debris to Washington through Fort Worth, using Col. Clark as a courier from Fort Worth.  The shipment to Washington happened that night after the flight with debris finally arrived from Roswell.

I have not been able to document Ramey's whereabouts on Monday, July 7, but likely his leave was for the weekend only and he returned to his command at Fort Worth by Monday morning.

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