3. RIGID METAL, OTHER METAL
Major Jesse Marcel: Roswell chief of intelligence; thin metal unaffected by a sledgehammer; plastic-like properties Walter Haut: Roswell public information officer; spoke to Marcel in 1980 about strong thin metal. (New!) In 2002 confessed to handling material at morning meeting brought back from field by Marcel. Brig. Gen. Arthur Exon: Former C/O Wright-Patterson AFB; testing of anomalous metal at W-P, including being unaffected by sledgehammers. Charles Schmid: Allegedly on debris field; jumped on very strong piece of thin metal without effect Sgt. Lewis Rickett: Roswell counter-intelligence corp; handled thin, very lightweight, dull gray metal on debris field that he couldn't crease; saw somebody else jumping on metal trying to bend it. Cpt. Sheridan Cavitt: Roswell counter-intelligence chief; verified Marcel trying to burn metal debris in his barbeque pit. Major Ellis Boldra: Roswell engineering; later found metal in engineering department; thin and very strong; couldn't cut it; unaffected by acetyline torch; 2nd-hand testimony from son and friends. John Kromshroeder: Business partner of Roswell senior pilot Oliver Henderson, who said he flew debris and bodies to Wright Field; Henderson showed him a stiff, very lightweight metal piece, supposedly obtained from Boldra; supposedly became evenly illuminated when electrified. Glenn Dennis: Roswell mortician; canoe-like pods, other debris in back of ambulance at base Charles Moore: Former Project Mogul balloon engineer; Mogul balloon components allegedly fitting witness descriptions of debris
(R&S2) "We [Cavitt and himself] found some metal, small bits of metal. ... I wanted to see some of the stuff burn, but all I had was a cigarette lighter ... I lit the cigarette lighter to some of this stuff and it didn't burn."
(R&S1, SR#2, interviewed by Leonard Stringfield) "The metal fragments varied in size up to six inches in length, but were the thickness of tinfoil. The fragments were unusual because they were of great strength. They could not be bent or broken, no matter what pressure we applied by hand."
(F&B) "But something that is more astounding is that the piece of metal that we brought back was so thin, just like the tinfoil in a pack of cigarette paper. I didn't pay too much attention to that at first, until one of the GIs came to me and said, "You know the metal that was in there? I tried to bend that stuff and it won't bend. I even tried it with a sledge hammer. You can't make a dent on it." I didn't go back to look at it myself again, because we were busy in the office and I had quite a bit of work to do. I am quite sure that this young fellow would not have lied to me about that, because he was a very truthful, very honest guy, so I accepted his word for that. So, beyond that, I didn't actually see him hit the matter with a sledge hammer, but he said, 'It's definite that it cannot be bent and it's so light that it doesn't weigh anything.' And that was true of all the material that was brought up. It was so light that it weighed practically nothing."
"This particular piece of metal was, I would say, about two feet long and perhaps a foot wide. See, that stuff weighs nothing, it's so thin, it isn't any thicker than the tinfoil in a pack of cigarettes. So I tried to bend the stuff, it wouldn't bend. We even tried making a dent in it with a 16-pound sledge hammer, and there was still no dent in it. I didn't have the time to go out there and find out more about it, because I had so much other work to do that I just let it go. It's still a mystery to me as to what the whole thing was. Like I said before, I knew quite a bit about the material used in the air, but it was nothing I had seen before. And as of now, I still don't know what it was."
(B&M) " ...The pieces of metal that we brought back were so thin, just like the tinfoil in a pack of cigarettes. I didn't pay too much attention to that at first, until one of the boys came to me and said: 'You know that metal that was in there? I tried to bend the stuff and it won't bend. I even tried it with a sledgehammer. You can't make a dent in it.' ...This particular piece of metal was about two feet long and maybe a foot wide. It was so light it weighed practically nothing, that was true of all the material that was brought up, it weighed practically nothing ... it was so thin. So I tried to bend the stuff. We did all we could to bend it. It would not bend and you could not tear it or cut it either. We even tried making a dent in it with a sixteen-pound sledgehammer, and there was still no dent in it... It's still a mystery to me what the whole thing was. Now by bend, I mean crease. It was possible to flex this stuff back and forth, even to wrinkle it, but you could not put a crease in it that would stay, nor could you dent it at all. I would almost have to describe it as a metal with plastic properties."
(Corley) "What are you trying to make me say, 'Do you really know that it came from outer space?' I don't. How can I say that? All I know is the material that I found and carried to the base ... The only thing I can say is that it might indicate that it might have been from out of space. It is nothing I had ever seen before. And I haven't seen it since. Even modern manufacturing and process that we have now ... all the material they have ... I've never seen anything like that."
[Corley: The foil that you said ... if you wrinkle it and lay it down it gets its shape again?] "Well, you couldn't wrinkle it. You see this foil [Pointed to a cigarette package on the table] You know the thickness of that? That's thin. I found a piece about this wide and about this long. About two feet long. And I had a very genius fellow working for me in my office. ...He said, 'I saw something unusual.' I said, 'What's that?' He said, 'You see this piece of metal?' He said, 'I tried to bend it, tried to make a mark on it. You can't make a mark on it.' I said, 'You're kidding me.' So I went out there. He took a sixteen pound sledgehammer and put the piece of metal on the ground and he hit it like that and it bounced off it."
[Corley: So you couldn't fold it, bend it, wrinkle it, or nothing?] "You couldn't even dent it with a sledgehammer. Thin as this. [Pointing to the cigarette pack] And when you had it in your hand you had nothing. It was as light as balsa wood. "
[Corley: And it wouldn't burn, I think you said?] "Nope. You couldn't make a mark on that stuff. Like these little members there." [Pointing to drawing of beam]
(Haut was the Public Information Officer at Roswell AFB and released the flying disc story to the press on July 8, 1947, dictated to him by Roswell Commanding Officer Blanchard. In 2002, he left an affidavit confessing to personally seeing and handling the debris plus seeing the spacecraft and bodies.)
(R&S1) "I've got to base what I'm going to say on what Jess Marcel told me. It was something that he had never seen and didn't believe that it was of this planet. I trusted him on his knowledge. He felt that it was something that was not made or mined or built or manufactured anywhere on this planet. He was explaining things (to me) . . . a little, thin, paper-thin piece of foil that you couldn't burn and couldn't bend and couldn't cut . . . at the time, (we thought) oh Christ, weather balloon, that's good."
(1996 video, "Sightings: The UFO Report") ([Marcel in 1980] told Walter Haut that there really was a flying saucer crash.) "He made statements to the effect that it was nothing of this world. It couldn't be bent, torn, cut, pierced, burned . . . he went through a whole list of them. He said, 'We just don't have the technology to produce material like I brought in from that ranch.'"
(C&S, p. 216, 2002 Affidavit) [Speaking about retrieved debris at staff morning meeting on July 8, 1947] "Samples of wreckage were passed around the table. It was unlike any material I had or have ever seen in my life. Pieces, which resembled metal foil, paper thin yet extremely strong, and pieces with unusual markings along their length were handled from man to man, each voicing their opinion. No one was able to identify the crash debris."
[Exon was stationed at Wright Field at the time of the crash. From 1964-69 he was the Commanding Officer of Wright-Patterson AFB, where crash material was taken in 1947. He said he never saw the actual crash material, but was told the result of testing by other personnel involved.]
(R&S2) "We heard the material was coming to Wright Field. [Testing was done in the various labs.] Everything from chemical analysis, stress tests, compression tests, flexing. It was brought into our material evaluation labs. I don't know how it arrived, but the boys who tested it said it was very unusual."
"[Some of it] could be easily ripped or changed... There were other parts of it that were very thin but awfully strong and couldn't be dented with heavy hammers...It was flexible to a degree... Some of it was flimsy and was tougher than hell, and the other was almost like foil but strong. It had them pretty puzzled. ...They knew they had something new in their hands. The metal and material was unknown to anyone I talked to. Whatever they found, I never heard what the results were. A couple of guys thought it might be Russian, but the overall consensus was that the pieces were from space. ...Roswell was the recovery of a craft from space."
[RUCU] "...couldn't be easily ripped or changed ...you could change it. You could wad it up, you could change the shape, but it was still there and ... there were other parts of it that were very thin but awfully strong and couldn't be dented with heavy hammers and stuff like that... which at the time were causing some people some concern... again, say it was a shape of some kind, you could grab this end and bend it, but it would come right back. It was flexible to a degree."
"I think the full range of testing was possible. Everything from chemical analysis, and resist chemicals, stress tests, compression tests, flexing... I don't know, at that time, if it was titanium or some other metal... or if it was something they knew about and the processing was something different."
(A Disclosure Project witness, Lovekin has recently testified to being intensively briefed on the UFO phenomenon when he worked in the Eisenhower and Kennedy White Houses in the Army Signaling Agency. The following testimony was based on briefings he received at the Pentagon around 1959.)
(Source) "This piece of an extraterrestrial craft was a grayish foil-like material... it had been taken from one of the ET craft that had crashed in New Mexico...
(VIDEO1) " ...there was pieces of material that looked like aluminum, real light stuff, but strong. It was about 16 inches by 2 1/2 inches and maybe a quarter inch thick. You couldn't bend it or twist it or do anything with it. Even by putting it up against a rock and jumping up and down, you could not bend it."
M. SGT. LEWIS (BILL) RICKETT
[Note: Prior to going into counterintelligence, Rickett was a highly qualified aircraft mechanic, inspector, and supervisor. During the war, he was sent to Europe as part of the team that studied German aircraft on site. Thus he was well-qualified in his assessment of the strange thin-metal he said he saw.]
(R&S1) One man set a piece on the ground and jumped on it, trying to dent or bend it, and failed.
"There was a slightly curved piece of metal, real light. It was about six inches by twelve or fourteen inches. Very light. I crouched down and tried to snap it. My boss [Cavitt] laughs and said, 'Smart guy. He's trying to do what we couldn't do.' I asked, 'what in the hell is this stuff made out of?' It didn't feel like plastic and I never saw a piece of metal this thin that you couldn't break."
"This was the strangest material we had ever seen ... there was talk about it not being from Earth. ...A year later I was talking to Joe Wirth, a CIC officer from Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C. I asked what they had found out about the stuff from Roswell. He told me that they still didn't know what it was and that their metal experts still couldn't cut it."
The edges of it were not jagged like those exposed after an explosion but were straight and were sharp. Some of the edges curved back on themselves. Rickett thought the object might have disintegrated once it had touched down.
(R&S2, describing Rickett on the debris field) Rickett walked the field with Cpt. Sheridan Cavitt. Rickett found one piece that was about two feet square and crouched to pick it up. It was slightly curved, but the only way he could tell that was to place it on something that was flat. He then locked it against his knee and used his arm to try to bend it. According to Rickett, it was very thin and very lightweight. Rickett said the metal wasn't plastic, and that it didn't feel like plastic, but he had never seen a piece of metal that thin that couldn't be bent.
(F&B) "[The material] was very strong and very light. You could bend it but couldn't crease it. As far as I know, no one ever figured out what it was made of."
(Interview with Mark Rodeghier of CUFOS, Jan. 19 1990) "I just walked over and picked a piece of it up... To the best of my memory, it had, it wasn't perfectly flat, like that. It was slightly curved. Some of them ... that I saw was just like that, real, real light in weight. The piece that I picked up was about three or four inches wide, maybe eight and a half, ten inches long, and it was just almost like a feather. [Was it lighter than aluminum foil is today?] Well, it give the impression, [but] it didn't have the feel. ...It was sharp, it looked as though it wasn't cut, it just disappeared. [It wasn't like it was a piece of something that disintegrated and had jagged edges?] No it didn't. ...some of the pieces ... they was kinda curved in a little bit on the edge. [Everything pretty small?] Yeah, something anywhere, from four or fives inches, to a foot. ...I didn't see any small ones.
[So there wasn't a lot of debris when you got there?] Not a lot, might have been thirty, forty, fifty pieces. ...it was just concave, just slightly. I mean, you pick up a piece and you look at it and say that's pretty flat, you pick the other one up and you can see between them. But that's the only way you could tell the difference.
"...[Cavitt] says, do what we couldn't do. And, go ahead, touch it! the best that I could recall what in the hell is that stuff made out of it can't be plastic. I said, don't feel like plastic just flat feels like metal, but ... I never saw a piece of metal that thin that you can't bend."
[About meeting with fellow CICman 15 years later named Joe Wirth] "He says, honest to God, they haven't found yet just what that was, what that metal was. I says, well, it looked to me like, you know what Monel looks like? And he says, yeah, but he says, Monel would be too heavy, I seen some sheets of Monel, and they'll give a little bit."
CPT. SHERIDAN CAVITT
(USAF) He stated ... that the material he recovered consisted of a reflective sort of material like aluminum foil . . .
(USAF, 1994 interview) [Responding to his wife, Mary, when she interjects during his interview that they both saw crash material when they later visited Jesse Marcel's home.] "I remember. He could have had some there at the house and it was, it looked like a foil of some sort, and he could have tried to burn it and it didn't burn very well. I don't know."
MAJOR ELLIS BOLDRA
(R&S2 description, based on interviews with Boldra's son and friends) Boldra subjected the sample to a number of tests. It was thin, incredibly strong, and dissipated heat in some manner. Boldra used an acetylene torch on the material, which didn't melt and barely got warm. It didn't glow when heated, and once the flame was removed, it could be handled in seconds. Boldra tried to cut it with a variety of tools and failed. No one remembers if he tried to drill through it. One of Boldra's friends said that it wasn't any type of metal that he could identify.
[ John Kromschroeder is a dentist and a retired military officer. He was a friend of Pappy Henderson, WWII bomber pilot and top Roswell pilot, who flew some of the debris out of Roswell. In 1977, Henderson told him that in 1947 he had transported wreckage and alien bodies. About a year later, Henderson showed him a piece of metal he had taken from the collection of wreckage. Allegedly, this is one of the pieces of metal found by Major Ellis Boldra in a Roswell safe. Kromschroeder and Henderson shared an interest in metallurgy.]
(F&B, interviewed in 1990) "I gave it a good, thorough looking-at and decided it was an alloy we are not familiar with. Gray, lustrous metal resembling aluminum, lighter in weight and much stiffer. [We couldn't] bend it. Edges sharp and jagged."
(RUCU, Affidavit, May 1, 1991) "I met Oliver W. 'Pappy' Henderson in 1962 or 1963. I learned that we shared in interest in metallurgy. In 1977, which was the 30th anniversary of [the] Roswell event, Henderson told me about the Roswell incident. He said he transported wreckage and alien bodies to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. Approximately one year later, Henderson produced a piece of metal taken from the craft. I gave it a good thorough looking at and decided that it was an alloy that we are not familiar with. It was a gray lustrous metal resembling aluminum, but lighter in weight and much stiffer."
(R&S2, summarizing Kromschroeder's description) The metal, according to Kromschroeder, was gray and resembled aluminum but was harder and stiffer. He couldn't bend it but had to be careful because the edges were sharp. He said that it didn't seem to have a crystalline structure, and based that on the fracturing of it. It hadn't been torn. ... Kromschroeder said he'd never seen anything like it. Kromshroeder said that Henderson told him that the metal was part of the lighter material lining the interior of the craft. He said that when properly energized, it produced perfect illumination. It cast a soft light with no shadows. That piece of debris apparently came from Major Ellis Boldra.
JOHN G. TIFFANY
(Tiffany's father was stationed at Wright Field. His unit was sent to Texas where they picked up metallic debris and a large cylinder that reminded them of a giant thermos bottle)
(R&S2, describing the metal) Tiffany said the metal was very lightweight and very tough. It had a smooth glasslike surface, and everything the flight crew did to it to mark it, bend it, or break it failed. But what really bothered the flight crew was the unusual cylinder and its unknown contents. After the flight, the crew felt that they couldn't get clean. They could not "get over handling something that foreign."
1st Lt. ROBERT SHIRKEY
(Shirkey saw a B-29 being loaded with debris picked up by Marcel & Cavitt at the debris field. The plane later took Marcel to Ft. Worth to meet Gen. Ramey.)
(F&B) "...Saw them carrying pieces of metal. They had one piece that was eighteen by twenty-four inches, brushed stainless steel in color."
(Pflock, FUFOR, affidavit 4/30/91) [They were] "...carrying parts of what I heard was the crashed flying saucer. At this time, I asked Col Blanchard to turn sideways so I could see what was going on. I saw them carrying what appeared to be pieces of metal; there was one piece that was 18 x 24 inches, brushed stainless steel in color. I also saw what was described by another witness as an I-beam and markings."
(Shirkey, p. 72) "...Standing only three feet from the passing procession, we saw boxes full of aluminum-looking metal pieces being carried to the B-29. Major Marcel came along carrying an open box full of what seemed to be scrap metal. It obviously was not aluminum: it did not shine nor reflect like the aluminum on American military airplanes. And sticking up in one corner of the box being carried by Major Marcel was a small "I-beam" with hieroglyphic-like markings on the inner flange, in some kind of weird color, not black, not purple, but a close approximation of the two. Next, a man in civilian dress who was carrying a piece of metal under his left arm... This piece was about the size of a poster drawing board -- very smooth, almost glass-like, with torn edges."
(Personal phone interview, 3/1/05) “They were carrying some pieces of airframe, or something. They just handed those up the front hatch…” [How much stuff did they load?] “Five or six small boxes. A couple of fellows could carry it easily.” [Not too much stuff?] “Not really.” [It was all metal?] “Yeah.” [Recall what the metal looked like?] “Let’s put it this way. We have aluminum foil One side is brilliant and the other side is dull. This stuff was all dull.” [Was it smashed looking or all smooth?] Oh, smooth-looking. [All smooth?] “Yeah, thin pieces.” [Size of pieces?] “From four by four on down.” [So small pieces?] “Yeah, except for one piece one fellow was carrying under his arm, I’d say poster board size, I’d say 16 by 22 [inches] or something.” [Shape?] “Well, it was a rectangle.” [Was it dull gray like the other pieces?] “Dull aluminum.” [Was it jagged around the edges?] “Yeah, a little bit. I was surprised they had a piece that large that was flat. [It was totally flat?] “Yeah.” [It was completely smooth?] “Yeah.” [You said it was a little rough around the edges maybe?] “Yeah, where it was torn off.”
(Dennis was the Roswell mortician and provided mortuary services for the Roswell Army Air Field.)
(Pflock, FUFOR, affidavit 8/7/91) "Although I was a civilian, I usually had free access on the base because they knew me. I drove the ambulance around to the back of the base infirmary and parked it next to another ambulance. The door was open and inside I saw some wreckage. There were several pieces which looked like the bottom of a canoe, about three feet in length. It resembled stainless steel with a purple hue, as if it had been exposed to high temperature. There was some strange-looking writing on the material resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics. Also, there were two MPs present."
BESSIE BRAZEL SCHREIBER
(F&B) " ...[There was also] a piece of something made out of the same metal-like foil that looked like a pipe sleeve. About four inches across and equally long, with a flange on one end."
Skeptical Explanation for Debris
CHARLES B. MOORE
(SKEP) Brazel's daughter, Bessie Brazel Schreiber, in a 1979 interview conducted by author William Moore (no relation to Charles B. Moore), described some aluminum ring-shaped objects in the debris that looked like pipe intake collars or the necks of balloons. (The mention of the rings appears in William Moore's transcript of the interview, but was not included in his book The Roswell Incident.) She estimated that they were about 4 inches around, and said she could put her hand through them. Charles Moore points out that Flight 4 carried several 3-inch-diameter aluminum rings for assisting with the launching of the balloon train, as well as larger rings used to hold the sonobuoys. These were cut from cylindrical tubing stock, and then chamfered to prevent damage to the ropes. (Supposed to explain Schreiber's "pipe sleeve/flange" description above)
(USAF) The material and a "black box" described by Cavitt, was, in Moore's opinion, most probably from Flight 4, a "service flight" that included a cylindrical metal sonobuoy and portions of a weather instrument housed in a box, which was unlike typical weather radiosondes which were made of cardboard.
(SKEP) Sheridan Cavitt, the CIC (Counter-Intelligence Corps) officer who accompanied Major Jesse Marcel to the debris field, described a black box in the wreckage. Moore says the NYU crew routinely packed batteries for the acoustic equipment in black boxes. There has been some speculation that the black box might have been a radiosonde, but Moore pointed out that radiosondes are usually white to prevent absorption of heat.