Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Walter Haut and alien bodies at Roswell

Much ado is being made within ufology these days about statements made by the late Walter Haut, the young lieutenant at Roswell in 1947 responsible for releasing the "we recovered a flying saucer" press release, to the effect that he saw alien bodies. He made these claims in an interview with Wendy Connors and Dennis Balthasar in 2000, and again, in much more detail apparently, in an affidavit he signed for Donald Schmitt and Tom Carey in 2002.

My take?

It's much ado about nothing.

Let's all recall that Haut vouched for Frank Kaufmann, who was shown to be a fraud, and Glenn Dennis, who similarly has been exposed. This stuff about alien bodies, long after there was any reason for him to keep it secret, reads as bogus to me. Indeed, I interviewed Haut and Dennis in 2001 - they sat right next to each other, and Dennis told his story about dead bodies etc., and Haut said not a word about it. Don't tell me it was his "oath" either - he had already talked plenty about Roswell, and broken his oath if he had given such a thing.

It is my considered opinion, which will no doubt make me unpopular in certain quarters again, that there are three possible explanations for this "revelation":

1. Haut may have been manipulated, either intentionally or unintentionally, by unscrupulous or careless and untrained researchers for their own ends.

2. Haut may have told a purposeful tall tale in order to give new life to the Roswell story, which his family still has a financial stake in. A note here - when I interviewed Haut and Dennis in 2001, they both asked for money, even though I was doing a film about their old friend, Stan Friedman. It was only when Stan intervened personally that they dropped their request. They are the only witnesses to any UFO case that I have ever talked to who ever asked to be paid for an interview, and in my case I was talking to them more about Stan and his career than the Roswell incident itself. Charles Halt, Bruce Bailey, and Robert Salas, all veterans, made no such request for the recent Best Evidence film, for example.

3. Haut was simply an old man who had heard so many stories like Dennis' that he came to believe them himself.

The latter is the most charitable explanation I can come up with.

The fact that he insisted that none of this be released until after his death should be a red flag as well - it neatly inculcated Haut from having to answer the tough questions about what he said. As a piece of evidence, this kind of statement is practically worthless regardless of who made it, or the circumstances under which it was made, because the person who made it cannot be cross-examined / questioned by independent researchers.

A final note - if the affidavit was given in 2002, and Haut died in 2005, why is it only now making the rounds within ufology? If true, it is indeed an earth-shattering revelation, and yet it was neatly tucked away for well over a year, until (a) Schmitt and Carey had a book to sell (apparently they had to obtain permission from the Haut family to publish it, but why did it take so long), and (b) Roswell had a 60th anniversary to celebrate.

Consider those further red flags. Big ones. Because if aliens on earth really is the biggest story of the millenium, as Stan Friedman is wont to say, then these people deliberately withheld critical information from the public, for motives that could only be attributed to profit. So much for free and easy "disclosure".

None of this will stop those with financial and emotional interests in Roswell from flogging this story, probably for years to come, and claiming it as proof of crashed alien spacecraft near Roswell in 1947. Don't be deceived, folks. It is nothing of the sort.

Paul Kimball

25 comments:

Mac said...

As you already know, I'm with you on this. Good piece.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

If true, it is indeed an earth-shattering revelation, and yet it was neatly tucked away for well over a year...

Paul, I ask this as a passing, generally uninformed observer looking in: wasn't the story about alien bodies being observed or recovered making the rounds long before 2000?

And if so, why would Walter Haut's affidavit be earth-shattering? I can recall relatives in the US talking about Roswell in the 1980s, and the alleged observations of bodies of aliens, dead from failing to use the seat belts in their 1975 Plymouth SpaceRover, was part of the discussion.

Obviously there is a difference between rumour, on which our (my and my uncles') conversation was based 20 or so years ago, and a sworn affadavit by a witness, but clearly there were others besides Walter Haut making these claims far earlier.

If I have read you correctly, the classification of this news as earth-shattering was just wishful thinking by Donald Schmitt and Tom Carey.

Ah yes...there it is..."much ado about nothing."

The Odd Emperor said...

Look I; was in the military and I took all kinds of oaths regarding secret information, much of this related to tracking an identifying flying objects. Although we were giving a small amount of instruction regarding unidentified (or unidentifiable) objects, the people I worked for did not deem this important enough to classify (or it was the lowest classification I.E. – "confidential." To tell you the truth I don’t remember.)

However, even as an idealistic young man in the 1980s I would have been hard pressed to keep secret the advent of an alien species contacting humanity. That’s not merely the most momentous event of the millennium it would be the most momentous event in all human history. God’s voice coming from a burning bush on the White House lawn would *almost* be comparable.

(I originally wrote this “God’s voice coming from a burning *Bush*, that tells you where my mind is this morning.)

BoyintheMachine said...

Well, I disagree. I do admit that certain details of Haut's affidavitt do seem problematic, however I do feel he is speaking the truth as he believes it to be. The problem people seem to have is that they expect every Roswell witness or participant in the supposed events to have valid, physical proof. When such doesn't surface, a smear campaign is the punishment/revenge.

Yes, I admit it's possible that Haut is confusing information told to him at that time with personal memories/experiences. Also, you cannot use his indorsement of Kaufman against him. Kaufman tricked many a person in the field of Ufology, but Haut was never a Ufologist! You can blame a Ufologist for not doing their homework on Kaufman, but don't blame witnesses.

-Jason Gammon

Paul Kimball said...

Ig:

Quite right - there's nothing new about the alien bodies angle. Indeed, Glenn Dennis' discredited story of seeing them in 1947 has been around for years now - and Dennis was one of Haut's best pals, and a co-founder of the UFO Museum in Roswell which makes a fair bit of coin for Haut's family. As the old Watergate maxim goes, "just follow the money". That applies for ufology too, even if some might wish it were otherwise.

Paul

Paul Kimball said...

Jason:

You wrote:

Also, you cannot use his indorsement of Kaufman against him. Kaufman tricked many a person in the field of Ufology, but Haut was never a Ufologist! You can blame a Ufologist for not doing their homework on Kaufman, but don't blame witnesses.

Oh, come on now. Of course it's relevant, just as it's relevant that Haut never once questioned Glenn Dennis' bogus claims to having seen alien bodies. Haut vouched for both of them, even when he knew, or should have known, that they were telling some pretty tall tales (to be polite). If that doesn't raise a red flag for you, I don't know what to say.

There's no question Haut had a role in the Roswell saga. He was the guy who put out the press release. However, that's all he did. Anything else is at best speculation and wishful thinking, which ignores the facts - including the inconvenient ones that the Roswell supporters don't want to discuss, foremost among them the fact that Haut and his family had and continue to have a financial stake in the perpetuation of the Roswell story. And the juicier that story, the more money it's likely to make in the long run.

Paul

Steve Huff said...

It was a relief to read your blog entry, Paul. I wrote about this on July 1, and reached many of the same conclusions. Naturally, I got some ugly feedback. But there's such a basic logic to what you've said here, a very down-to-earth logic. I'm no rock-ribbed skeptic, but I think you're right about the whole deal.

Paul Kimball said...

Steve:

Good stuff. Well said.

I liked Haut. He seemed like a nice enough man. And I certainly respect his service to his country. But that doesn't make him a saint, nor does it make him immune from criticism, or from human motives.

Did he cook up the story as part of his "legacy" to Roswell, and his family? That would be my take on it, given all of the available information, and placing everything in its proper context. And if that is the case, as I think, then that's not necessarily a bad thing, as you point out. Indeed, it would fit well with a characterization of Haut as a decent man who put his family first, right to the very end.

Paul

red pill junkie said...

I remember that interview that was printed on OMNI magazine in 1996 (I think, I still have the mag BTW) when Walter Haut not only seemed pretty vague about the authorship of the press release (the one that sparked the whole Roswell thing), but also answered that he believed that something like 99.9% of the UFO reports could be explained by conventional means.

"What about Roswell?" the interviewer asked, and then Haut paused thinking, the interviewer (Dave Sobel) felt that there was an inner struggle between the retired down-to-Earth military man and the now museum entrepeneur.

"Maybe 99.4%" He finally answered.

I'm with you on #2 explanation. To me the entrepeneur finally won...

PS: Does anybody know where you can find old OMNI articles in the internet? they were extremely good! It was such a sad loss when it went out of print.

ahtzib said...

I broke down and analyzed Haut's affidavit. The part about Ramey being present in Roswell on the morning of 7/8/47 is really weird, and to my mind looks like a way to make the story simpler by making Ramey the all-around cover-up guy.

See the post for more details

http://spookyparadigm.blogspot.com/2007/07/analyzing-hauts-roswell-affidavit.html

BoyintheMachine said...

Ahtzib: When I was like 15 I read every Omni mag I could get a hold of. I begged my parents left and right for a subscription, but alas, it was never meant to be...

-Jason Gammon

Anonymous said...

First of all Walter Haut did not NEED to say ANYTHING at all if he was interested in was keeping the Roswell story for financial reasons. He could have kept quiet and the story would STILL have continued. Second of all, Dennis never claimed to have seen alien bodies himself. He claimed that a nurse friend of his(who was at the autopsy) sketched a likeness of one on a napkin.
I don't know if the story is true or not, but if you're going to debunk a story, try not to embellish the facts. Only then will your opinion be taken seriously.

Paul Kimball said...

Anonymous:

Only then will your opinion be taken seriously.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - whether "anonymous" readers take me seriously or not is of little concern to me - especially when they can't read. I didn't say that Dennis said he saw bodies. You should re-read what i wrote, and then consider which one of us has been "embellishing".

Sheesh...

As for your comment on Haut, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Paul

Anonymous said...

"The fact that he insisted that none of this be released until after his death should be a red flag as well - it neatly inculcated Haut from having to answer the tough questions about what he said."

Would you apply the same argument to, say, E.Howard Hunt? :-

onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1918.shtml

What is your agenda, exactly? Truth? Justice? Or fear?

Ed Wolfe said...

Not releasing the affidavit until after his death is a red flag to you?

Wow. If it was a marketing ploy, he and his family sure are patient marketers.

The Roswell UFO Museum was founded in 1991. But you think his idea was to wait until his future death to draw attention to the museum by way of an affidavit revealing what he saw nearly 60 years prior.

Yeah, I bet he's laughing all the way to... Oh wait - he's dead. Dead men don't laugh.

Paul Kimball said...

Ed:

I've already explained why Haut would do it (as have others). If you don't understand that, there's not much more I can say.

Paul

Joseph Capp said...

Dear Paul,
Why is it when a UFO witness behaves like every other human being researchers like yourself seem to then demionise everything they do. Asking for money from you may have been because they don't like and respect you as they do Stanton. As far as vouching for people. It may be he wanted others to support his Alien Body experience, it can be very lonely out there in UFO land after the researchers go home to their book publishing. I read just recentily from Betty and Barneys niece how they beat up her brother in school over the expereince. These facts of everyday life are usually glossed over by those researchers who want the next promenent UFO book published. How do you do that except by smearing the witnesses and writing a book from a different angle. You say you would never do that... well at least I didn't wait till after you were dead to print that.
Joseph Capp
UFO Media Matters

Paul Kimball said...

Joseph:

There's the world the way we might like it to be, and the world the way it is. You seem to be more interested in the latter; I am always more interested in the former, because that's the world I live in. That world requires a healthy scepticism, and an understanding that human beings are complex beings who do things for many different reasons. That in turn requires one to consider all possibilities, not just the ones that fit with their pre-existing views.

The Haut statement rings wrong to me, for many reasons, all of them rooted in the real world.

Best regards,
Paul

David Seals said...

Why would an old man lie on his deathbed, especially about something like this that would embarrass his family and his reputation? The same could be said for Col. Philip Corso in 1997, who came out with a book when he was 80 years old and died soon after?

Paul Kimball said...

Oh, for Pete's sake - is there some sort of rule out there that says old people don't lie?

Let's assume for a second that Harry Truman knew about aliens. He never said anything - a lie by ommission that he continued until he died. And so forth.

They would lie for the same reasons that people of all ages lie - usually money is at the top of the list, and if you think that isn't a factor in Roswell, you just haven't been paying attention.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Well now.... lets see.... i have 3 different UFO investigation tapes with Jesse Marcel corroborating the weightless indestructable material Haut looked at and examined. Marcel's family witnessed it the day after the crash and they describe it too. The means that both Haut and Marcel are stating the same thing, strange symbols on i-beam pieces. It's not easy to debunk the Roswell incident, with such corroboration of stories. Haut is not the only person with a deathbed story. At least he used an affidavit signed with notary. You know, would it not be a slap in his own face and an embarrassment to make up such a fake affidavit? Most military men have high codes of honor that they live by - why would he shoot his legacy in the foot?

Gary said...

Mr. Anonymous - you have made a leap of faith in accepting Walter Haut's affidavit as accurate - which it is most certainly not.

Walter did NOT compose the alleged affidavit. Others did, conveniently at a time when Walter was effectively incapacitated and mentally unsound due to age and illness. It is very doubtful Walter even knew WHAT he was signing.

I knew Walter for many years. He was a decent, honorable man. The chances that the affidavit is a truthful recollection by Walter are as close to zero as you can get.

Gary said...

The Affidavit of Walter G. Haut – QUESTIONABLE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.....

It’s time for some clarity regarding Walter Haut’s affidavit. First, let me be clear that I am firmly convinced that the Roswell Incident was real, that the basic facts are as claimed. Second, Walter was a good friend for many years and the record needs to be set straight.

A huge injustice has been done to him by a reporter seeking a story, people close to Walter and a writer who was thoroughly discredited many years ago.

The affidavit is little more than an unscrupulous attempt by the writer (and others) to gain back a few crumbs of his long-gone credibility by resorting to shoddy sensationalism.

Sadly, given that Walter's physical, and most significantly, his mental condition had deteriorated considerably… and given the admission by the writer that he and others had written the affidavit and then had Walter sign it - - when Walter was very likely incapable of understanding what he had signed, the legitimacy of the statements in the affidavit is questionable at best.

Walter Haut was an honorable man and, like Jesse Marcel Jr., there is no questioning his integrity. I spent countless hours over a period of many years with Walter and never once did he ever hint that his involvement was anything beyond the press release. Walter always maintained that something extraordinary had happened and that Col. Blanchard had given him instructions to compose and issue a press release. That, as Walter repeatedly stated, was the extent of his knowledge. One would think that at some point, he would have given a clue, a hint, no matter how slight, to a trusted friend of over 50 years...but he didn’t. It was only when Walter was pushed and pressured at a time when his mental health had significantly deteriorated, did he alter his story.

Walter said, on more than one occasion, how it angered him that people (he had known for years) were suddenly jumping on the celebrity wannabe wagon once the 1947 incident became a media sensation. He was certain a number of these people were fabricating and/or aggrandizing their involvement. But he remained silent, saying that what they were doing would be their own cross to bear.

Supposedly, Haut waited until the end of his life to reveal this information because he had promised Col. Blanchard he would not disclose it while he (Blanchard) was alive. Walter had seen how credible witnesses had been attacked by debunkers, a prime example being the venomous defamation of intelligence officer, Major Jesse A. Marcel. The author’s theory was that by denying direct knowledge of the truth about Roswell, Haut would be denying critics a convenient target. However, with Walter's now-public interview and affidavit in which he “confesses’ to being an eyewitness to the debris, spacecraft, and bodies, those responsible for the affidavit have cleared the way for debunkers to attack Walter Haut as a liar.

The integrity of those close to Walter in his last years, is certainly questionable. Clearly, the motive for hyping and publishing this disservice to the memory of Walter, was for profit and publicity.

What these people accomplished - instead of presenting the badly needed truth - was to dishonor a decent man and open the door to additional ridicule of what may be the most important event in human history… all in one fell swoop.

It is shameful that these people took advantage of an incapacitated, seriously ill man for personal gain.

Anonymous said...

On 25 June 1976 @ 1550 hrs MDT, a company grade (captain) USAF intelligence officer briefed an entire F-111D squadron on the Roswell incident. The briefing lasted less than 5 minutes and touched on almost everything that has ever been written, recorded, published, or broadcasted regarding this event. For the 50 or so of us in attendance, Roswell is definitely 'case closed'. By the way, about the only thing I haven't seen published that was part of our briefing was the military's determination of 'probable cause of accident'. Those of us who stay in touch refer to it as the 'wobblin goblin briefing'. R Carr

Anonymous said...

I am writing this comment as I feel that the author of this article and the majority of the commenters here are debunkers pretending to be supporters of Mr. Haut. By blaming others for his revelations to be published after his death and ascribing cynical motives to such people, they do no service to the memory of somebody who tried not to get involved in the publicity about Roswell during his lifetime. This, I believe was the reason that he made the requirement that his statement should not be released until after his death.

Fear of ridicule and the risk that his testimony would be brushed aside is as strong a motive as greed or money.

If money was the prime motive, then making the statement when he was alive would not invalidate the writer's 3 points, but would strengthen them.

I hope that Mr. Kimball has missed the point, because , if he has not then he would be seen, in my eyes at any rate, to have deliberately steered the argument away from what Mr. Haut has written (or what he has signed his agreement to what others have written, if one wishes to be pedantic)to making slurs about his, or those who have encouraged him, motives for making his statement on the matter of the Roswell incident.

I think that the most important point in Mr. Haut's affidavit is his comment about the breakfast meeting with General Ramey and the senior Colonel present. Mr. Haut was, at the time of his death the only person who could validate whether or nor a meeting as described took place. Doubtless, all official records of such a meeting would have long been disposed of.

Mr. Haut's affidavit gives the only logical explanation of why the official story was changed from the recovery of a crashed disc to the wreckage of a weather balloon. The explanation of the 2nd crash closer to Roswell with allegedly a more or less intact craft and some bodies, which needed to be dealt 1st is the most logical reason for telling part of the truth to draw attention away from closer crash site and focus it on the other site 70 miles from Roswell.

Once the clean-up operation had been accomplished, then it would have been necessary to keep the public away from the other crash site, hence the change of story.

The original decision to release part of the truth was the lesser of 2 evils, and I am sure that a total cover-up would have been preferred by General Ramey's superiors.

To go back to the subject of motives, perhaps it should be noted that General Ramey's family have continued his debunking attitude towards the Roswell incident and U. F. O.'s in general.

Once again, it can be seen that they are not making any money out the situation, but by sticking to his story, they are protecting his name and reputation and their status, which I submit, is equally as powerful a motive for preserving the status quo as money is for altering it.

I am shown as anonymous as this is the only way that I can post on here, but if giving any personal details is what will convince you that I am not trying to derail this article just for the sake of it I am prepared to give whatever information you require to accept that I am making a valid point, namely that Mr. Haut is the ONLY witness who had 1st hand knowledge of a deliberate cover-up, which is far more important than whether or nor a given individual did, or did not, see any bodies.