"Yeah, this is it -- this is the flying disc"
The narrated discussions presented in the article below have been fostered amidst the absolute and often expressed desire for an accurate record of the suppositions and point-of-view held by our friend Roger Craggett. In pursuit of this, we have recorded numerous interviews with him, in the context of his needs alone. This means that nothing will be published without his prior approval and unconditional support for the claims herein expressed.
SPI SANTA FE NM -- "No, no, no, the belief in UFOs is not fucking ridiculous!"
You can hear the deranged smile in his voice.
"The people who believe in UFOs are. And they're pretty obvious about it. I don't have any problem with the concept. It has resulted in a fairly large number of absolutely wonderful science fiction novels and stories and movies and even T.V. series, some of which can genuinely be considered classics. The concept is fine. It's when people start believing in the concept that the insanity walks into the room. What these idiots call evidence is not evidence. Clearly. When you read a witness report that is fictional, you don't call it evidence. You call it what it is: a joke. Except in this case, nobody's laughing and a lot people are getting irate and nervous, so it's a bad joke. Got it?"
According to Roger Craggett, the worst joke of all is the entire Roswell UFO mythos. In his opinion, poor storytellers have mindlessly created folktales from first person accounts they have little ability to make credible. And credibility, Craggett insists, is the only part of the story that matters.
"Throughout history, you've got a small handful of men and women who achieved great honor and fame due to their remarkable ability to render believable stories about the Gods and Goddesses that gave meaning and purpose to the lives of common men. The social status of such people, for probably the first time in history, became either irrelevant or possible to surmount. Names like Aesop and Homer come to mind. Aesop was a Thracian slave, while Homer, a blind man from Chios, was entirely dependent on the good will of others. And this handicapped charity case would eventually be recognized as the greatest of Greek storytellers, a reputation that enabled others to incorporate his character and his personality into their own poetic works, an act of creative editing that would eventually see Homer interacting with the same Gods and Goddesses that were believed to govern, or at least contribute to, the fate of all men on Earth and in the underworld." In the process, of course, the folklorist himself was lost to time, an admired beacon pointing the way to Mount Olympus throughout the centuries as the once-radiant source eventually vanished and melted away. But his stories became immortal, shining in the firmament of eternity like flowering stars.
The construction of folklore became a much admired field of human endeavor, and schools were founded for the purpose of training those with the gift to take advantage of their natural talents in a world that bestowed great respect and often riches upon the greatest of its poets, its dramatists, its storytellers. They helped to create some of the first schools in ancient western history, precursors to colleges of rhetoric and drama and later of law. Many were open to anybody who could establish the talent and the natural grace demanded of such men of respect and grand will. The only requirement was the true desire to control the the fate of one's world using only those gifts bestowed by the Gods without consideration of status, wealth, or which potentate you may or may not have pledged your blood and your allegiance to. This in turn led to the tradition of the bards that contributed so much to the constantly mingling cultures of Western Europe, a tradition that is justifiably lauded for preserving the true history of the western world during a period of such warfare and strife that it threatened to devour Europe in a Dark Ages that could have destroyed every other tradition and culture rising on its own merits.
|And the worst joke of all |
is the entire Roswell Mythos
Not everybody, of course, is gifted with such talents. Those without the gift, however, were not stupid, and according to Roger Craggett, they discovered the means by which ordinary men, men without the natural talent for rhetoric, men without any native ability to apply to the tales of their tribe could still hijack the fame and the blessings they could not otherwise earn. They proved that it was possible for men without the poet's breath on their brow to still achieve for themselves and their families the respect and the admiration that had previously been accorded only to those harboring within their hearts and their minds and their aspirations those legends and tales of ancient Gods, Goddesses, spirits, djinn, demons, and all manner of natural and unnatural forces believed to interact with humanity.
"Oh, yeah! But there was only one way these untalented and lazy orators could collect the respect and the admiration they lusted after, yet didn't deserve!
"They had to put themselves in the story..."
Thus was born the "eyewitness" of our fantastic literature, the scourge of logic, poetry, and natural histories everywhere. "The eyewitness gave birth to the hoax and to the fraudulence of modern UFOlogy. Those unable to create had to attract attention, and they eventually determined that such attention could be demanded by those who insist, 'I'm not very good at describing these things, but I did see it, and that gives me the authority others lack!'
"And the world bought it, because the 'eyewitness' presents a point-of-view that the world is naturally attracted to. Those other guys have nothing -- no authority at all that common men can rely on. They want to believe, because the experience of belief is more powerful and more sustaining than that of mere 'entertainment', and belief outside of the recompense of trust due to cultural conditioning is easily supported by witnesses. That's the true dividing line between the Old Testament and the New; it's the whole point behind the stories of the saints and the martyrs. Y'see, Christianity had the need for witnesses to the Kingdom of God, just as the Apostles were witnesses to the redemption of Christ that relies on the conquering and the subsequent destruction of true death.
"Within our Gospels creep the worms of this false authority. Look to the doubts of Thomas. If they are not conditioned and molded to modestly create the scion of belief where such belief is either impossible or fails to inspire with the true breath of language, then they are nothing more than the pinions driving a sharp-edged tale with no purpose to it at all, and having no purpose should not make pretense of it. The doubts of Thomas were constructed to persuade -- nothing more. They add nothing to the resurrection story and nothing in that story suffers in their absence. Of course, these are religious tenets, invented to separate a man from himself. UFOlogy, like the tales of Bigfoot or the lost and painful screams of Picklenose John, is merely a lark's tongue aspiring to be the well-paying career of a celebrity. It's just sickening dishonesty."
The hearts of men have been conditioned by life and by the "world observed" to doubt the existence of authority presupposed. That is precisely why rhetoric is an art form that uniformly rejects the mindless creations of a poor storyteller crouching before his desire to effect belief amongst the most gullible and the naive. Along the way, such fools tend to forget that authority, being a creature in awe of the impossible, cannot, in true nature, exist. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that art was created. When performed well, it deserves our admiration and respect -- and, yes, our love and our belief as well. When it is done poorly, it deserves the weight of our criticism, but also a measure of our respect for the attempt. It takes courage to conduct one's private, fevered orchestrations in public, and it is appropriate to acknowledge that. But the eyewitness hijacks belief by adding his own contempt for the value of traditional arts into the recipe that his desire for recognition and fame has inspired him to produce. Such a man deserves our scorn and earns for himself the reputation of the fool and the buffoon.
"That defines the whole Roswell UFO thing pretty solidly. You've got a bunch of poor and dishonest storytellers trying to establish the religious persona of flying saucers and dead aliens using nothing more than pure invention. You gotta believe that it just isn't the honest to God truth that's gonna make you into a celebrity and get you that low interest rate on a third mortgage! Or, Hell, buy your little girl a new car. Or get your big girl a vacation to the south of France. And it's all nothing but a hoax! It's goddamn pathetic...
|And the whole thing's nothing but a hoax!|
"In the America we all know, unfortunately, we don't doubt our eyewitnesses; we are trusting in our nature and therefore we find the multiplicity of lies abhorrent and without even a single measure of worth in all human professions and all fields of endeavor excepting politics alone. That is why so many of our prisons and penitentiaries are so overcrowded. It is why America has a higher per capita rate of incarceration than any other country on Earth. It is why so many of the men and women we lock up in those many prisons and penitentiaries that we maintain to best preserve our communities, our property, and our lives are innocent of the crimes they were tried, convicted, and sentenced for having committed. You see, we Americans have not yet learned the primal lesson of the eyewitness: a whole lot of times, they're simply wrong. And quite often they are simply wrong on purpose.
"Well, I don't pay a lot of attention to liars, and I don't intend to recognize fantasy. That's why UFOs piss me off ..."
Roger Craggett is particularly incensed by the whole Roswell flying saucer mythos. "What the Hell's the appeal? What possible significant mystery could ever exist that the entire world would ignore for thirty years after the fact? If you want to understand this idiocy, you have to examine the context -- the beginnings and the ends of every question that's been presented. When you've done that, then come talk to me."
Unfortunately, as we've already discussed, Craggett has never been very good at trying to define, measure, and filter out the beginnings and the ends of anything. He is so wrapped up in the contents of the present, in the practice and the conditions of his livelier years, that he tends to overlook the motivations of a man gazing out in some confusion from inside of an issue he longs to understand. Motivations speak to the whys and the wherefores of the matter at hand, and these elements are far more likely to describe the anxieties of a man who begins an activity, and who determines from the very beginning the course and the directionality of his own personal universe than those conditions that have never been credibly observed or experienced by any other individual anywhere else on this planet. It's unsurprising, really, that he considers any debate of fact in regard to UFOs a singular perversion having more in common with necrophilia than any genuine desire to determine the truth thus far undiscovered. It's a dead horse. Pound it.
It has to be acknowledged, however, that where the Roswell case is concerned, the beginning is so muddied and intemperate that it seems to have been sheared off of the story completely, which is something that Craggett sure as Hell did notice, even though doing so was an application of logic somewhat out of character for the man. He noticed it almost immediately, which for Craggett is a signature of distinction, a sign of brilliance in regard to an issue he would prefer to ignore. And a man, any man, will only rarely abandon and ignore the trigger of his own brilliance, which is why Craggett starts and ends every single day recognizing this same unchanging yet uncharted conviction: you'll never know anything about what came down out of the skies north of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 unless you know everything there is to know about that quietly inconsistent cowboy, Mack Brazel. He found the alleged wreckage, he reported it, he issued a number of very early statements intended to define his position, and then he refused to discuss it, at least publicly, for the remainder of his life.
The basic story is commonly known around the world. Brazel found the remains of something that he thought had something to do with the flying disc mystery. The Roswell Army Air Corps released a public affairs statement that one of the discs had crashed near the base, and was in the process of being recovered. Overnight that story changed. Suddenly, according to Craggett, there was only the mistake: "it was an identification error. It was a weather balloon apparatus that had been recovered, a common enough mistake, we're so sorry, maybe next time we'll get it right. That story seemed solid enough, for a command that generally disliked stories, and we know it was well received, because it went unchanged for over thirty years until a bunch of UFO flakes decided that the next big deal was going to be some silly revelations of another cover-up, not a spoonful of sugar. For God's sake, after Nixon, folks were ready to believe anything -- anything at all. And so a bunch of greedy, dishonest idiots called themselves 'eyewitnesses' and sold them flying saucers at Roswell. It was just bad timing for the truth. Bad timing. How pathetic is that?"
Well before he began asking his own questions about these matters, Roger Craggett already suspected that Mack Brazel was the only key to the tale told, and it was within the heart of Mack Brazel that the staid investigator would find the answers he was looking for.
He was clearly the only credible witness available. If Brazel could be properly isolated and properly assessed in the right context, the whole UFO thing -- true or false -- would naturally fall into place exactly where it belongs. And Craggett was dead certain regarding what that solution would be: the flying saucer would crash and fall back into the garbage dump of history just as it has always deserved. It says something singular about the man to recognize that his desire to prove the fallacies inherent to the Roswell circus was more than enough reason to keep him investigating the matter and examining the men and the politics that were involved, even during those lean years when nothing at all could be established insofar as the actual history of the incident. It was frustrating, because he was rarely successful when it came to uncovering those facts that supported his thesis. Of course, his standards of evidence were significantly higher than those held by the UFO faction, which was at least something of an intellectual relief whenever he was forced to consider his many failures.
|Roger Craggett already suspected that Mack |
Brazel (above) was the only key to the tale told
Craggett did uncover something he considered relevant, however, something that other investigators seem to have ignored. Aside from the original claims made by Mack Brazel, whenever actual evidence was applied to location, the sources that came forward to promote one alleged crash site over another were always associated on some level with the United States Air Force or Army Air Corps, the intelligence gathering components in either the military, the CIA or the FBI, or were attempting to locate the crash site on private property, where it could potentially be used to make money. The motivations for these individuals were overtly obvious. Craggett found it problematic that in such cases, it could easily be assumed that a classic misdirection strategy was being applied to keep the original crash site a secret. The fact is, eleven crash sites have been identified over the years, and not a single one of them represents a credible solution to the Roswell mystery. To Craggett, it seemed as if someone or some organization had been purposely muddying the water by throwing so much crap into it that the true site might never be found. Even worse, given the proposition that there is no real evidence to support any of the crash sites alluded to, the discovery of related artifacts might very well represent an impossible task, and would therefore become just as useless as any other Roswell flying saucer mystery -- and just as unresolved.
Brazel, unfortunately, was no help at all. Aside from the fact that by the time Craggett got motivated enough to look at the original sources, Mack Brazel had been dead for a good many years, even when he was alive all he was prepared to do was act like Roswell and flying saucers and dead aliens scattered all around the desert like so much wind blown flotsam on the beach had nothing at all in it that might interest him. He was perenially pissed off, and after reporting what he found and satisfying the "goddamn Army Air Corps", he wanted nothing more to do with the matter, and he made very short work of anyone who reached out to him with questions hanging around the back of their throat. He just told them to swallow it and leave. "Get off my property" became something like the first tenet of a new religion designed and applied by and for the silent.
Something had happened with Mack in 1947 when the Roswell flying saucer allegedly crashed during a thunderstorm; everybody knew that much. The Army officers over at Roswell had kept him locked up and angry for a good week, and he was spitting crazy over that when they finally told him he could go on home -- he had earned it, they said. By the time he got home, though, he wasn't anywhere near angry enough to tell folks everything he'd seen. As far as he was concerned, and for the rest of his life, the only thing he saw was exactly what those officers at the Roswell Army Air Field told him he saw. About the last word he said on the subject was to the deputy who drove him home at the end of that first bad week. According to the deputy, he said something odd and out of place during that long drive back to his home, and part of that statement was later published by one of the E. W. Scripps Company titles, The Albuquerque Tribune: "I told 'em to arrest me, to put me on trial. That was the whole reason I turned myself in to federal officers. They just told me to shut the Hell up, that no one was going on trial, and just locked me up again."
Now that's an odd comment to make in any conversation, but in the context of 1947, it strongly suggests that Mack expected to be arrested. He wanted to be arrested. Why would anyone expect to be arrested for doing nothing more than letting the Army know that he had found one of their weather balloons? Why would anyone expect the world to come down on top of him for reporting a possible flying saucer? Remember, this was 1947, not 1997, and context is everything. Most folks didn't even know what the Hell a flying saucer was in 1947.
According to his driver, Mack was dead quiet by the time he got home, and according to everybody else, he stayed that way for the rest of his life. Whenever someone cornered him on it, or kept insisting that his story seemed unlikely, he kept the conversation very short and very sweet, saying that he wouldn't be much of a patriot if he failed to keep his promise, and by God he had made a scarlet vow to the entire Army Air Corps. People in town said he was old-fashioned that way; the fact that he gave his word was significantly more important than the content of his alleged testimony, and he had no intention of staining that aspect of life that bestows honor on a man -- even a poor man with nothing left to hang onto. He sure as Hell wasn't about to start doing so merely for the sake of good conversation.
The problem with this stand is best defined by the fact that nobody was ever clear about what promise he had made that he intended to keep. They just guessed that it had something to do with the claims he made and the flying saucer he supposedly found. Right. That was a guess that caused a whole lot of silence in the years to come, and a lot of folks later had cause to be thankful for that small blessing. Of course, a lot of folks were also making a lot of money by that time, and if Mack Brazel wasn't adding a whole lot of superfluous details to the story, it gave them that much more freedom to determine for themselves whatever superfluous details should be added.
Roger Craggett, however, was not one of the thankful. He found Mack Brazel's attitude decidedly unfortunate, because it meant that the only resources he could use were those he had already dismissed as unlikely and hardly credible due to so many obviously motivating factors having been introduced. He was unable to find the original site of the alleged incident, because the only witness he could trust had stopped talking and then died. Members of that mute cowboy's family had pointed at what they claimed was the original site, but when one person points at three places over the course of a six year period 20-years after the fact, trusting that person becomes naturally problematic. Craggett had no idea where to start searching once he crossed those with a second-hand story to sell off of his list, and that was pretty much everybody.
"After nine years of investigation, I had no idea where I was or how in the world I was going to find something, anything to cling to in explanation. And I was pissed-off and physically sickened by every little UFO fuck I was pointed to by a bunch of people who also had no idea what in the world was going on. Everybody in those UFO groups has their own favorite little theory to propose, to believe, or sometimes just to sell and none of it ever makes any sense, but they grab at it like it's the last word of God or something. Every single one of these guys is dead certain that you can't trust the government, you can't trust the Air Force, you can't trust the FBI, you can't trust the Army, and you sure as Hell can't trust the CIA, and yet every single goddamn witness they toss out as the brand new caretaker of the true story, the only one who can break down the greatest cover-up in human history, has extremely long-standing ties with the government, the Air Force, the FBI, the Army, or the infuckingcredible CIA, and they see nothing wrong with any of it! For God's sake, even Maj. Jesse A. Marcel -- who publicly stated that what he recovered in 1947 was 'not of this world' -- was attached to the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office! It's like every single UFO hunter in the country was born brain dead, and that's your only real conspiracy -- the conspiracy that explains how to believe when you know nothing. How do these people fail to see the most obvious flaw in their repertoire of idiocy? Anybody making claims contrary to their belief is guilty of disinformation and working with the feds, but any source with an actual, verified connection to the feds gets a pat on the back for courage and bestowed with the magical talent for infallibility. I swear, it's just insanity. But I was still at a dead end myself, so what the Hell kind of critic does that make me? Like everybody else, I had nothing."
Of course, having "nothing" didn't really stop folks from looking, and it didn't stop those who looked from polishing up that "nothing" until it was so bright and shiny that a lot of people didn't even bother looking at anything else, even if it came with its own price tag. It's that price tag, in fact, that makes it so difficult to believe that those 30-years-after-the-fact investigators didn't start their detective work with a pre-ordained conclusion already written up in what would eventually be chapters one, two, and three of whatever myth-making manual they intended to publish first. They certainly weren't alone, though. A number of unofficial investigations were ultimately introduced to the media market as a result of heightened interest in the case, all of which hinged on conclusions that were very different from what had originally been reported in newspapers 30-years earlier. Some of those conclusions were a bit unsettling. For instance, a number of privately funded investigators had immediately concluded that Mack Brazel had discovered the remnants of an actual, extraterrestrial flying saucer that had crashed near the Foster's property, one that had probably originated not just off-planet, but outside of our own solar system entirely; he had discovered part of an alien craft that had reached the end of its long journey through the darkness with a very rude and unconditional finality.
|Major Jesse Marcel of the 509th |
Bomb Group Intelligence Office
The officers at the Roswell Army Air Field had, in fact, agreed, claiming that what Brazel discovered was one of the "flying discs" that had been so widely reported throughout June and July, 1947. For modern audiences, this kind of explanation to describe what Brazel had discovered is electrifying. It gives the impression that the scattered remnants of tin foil, wood, tape and heavy paper that was reportedly found is actually a flying saucer, one that was capable of traveling through the vacuum of outer space. And if it's a flying disc, as the army originally insisted, it would be ludicrous to suggest that such a craft had been created with tin foil, wood, tape and heavy paper. A flying saucer of the type of craft that people refer to today whenever they mention "flying saucers" are clearly not made of such flimsy materials.
In the summer of 1947, however, such a claim is inconsistent with actual history. The reports of flying discs throughout much of the nation represented a mystery, not a fait accompli that establishes extraterrestrial visitation. In Los Angeles, for instance, one of the newspapers published the theory that "flying saucers" represented the possible outcome of "experiments in transmutation of atomic energy", an explanation many scientists dismissed as "gibberish".
The explanation most often put forward by scientists, astronomers, physicists, the military and government spokesmen at all levels was that the discs were very likely "man-made". Astronomers were very quick to dismiss the explanation that the discs were meteors or some other natural phenomenon, which is why most educated therorists believed, as did Dr. Oliver Lee, Director of Northwestern University's Dearborn observatory, that the mystery was merely one more byproduct of military weapons experiments. "We realize that the army and navy are working on all sorts of things we know nothing about." Very few people were promoting the theory that the flying discs originated on another world, possibly in another galaxy. The closest that anybody ever got to such a theory was when Dr. Lee theorized that the flyings discs might represent "the same sort of thing as sending radar signals to the moon, one of the greatest technological achievements of the war, and accomplished in absolute secrecy." The only real question was whether or not the Department of Defense, which in '47 was known as the National Military Establishment, had an obligation to inform the citizenry of the United States that they were indeed responsible for the sightings. The science fiction explanation that proliferates today, partially as a result of the unofficial investigations of the incident at Roswell, was not a valid issue in 1947.
At first Craggett believed that the command at Roswell Army Air Field must have had hopes of killing two birds with one stone: they could release an account explaining what Mack Brazel had discovered in the desert, and could reach a conclusion that resolved as well the mystery of the flying discs. Modern UFO historians tend to believe that the army's immediate about-face in relation to the "flying disc" theory supports conjecture that they were attempting to cover up the truth behind the flying saucer sightings, but it's equally likely, according to Craggett, that pulling away from the explanation for the discs was intended to prevent criticism; clearly, the discs had been described, at times, as accelerating to speeds that were simply impossible for a weather balloon to achieve, particularly one constructed of wood and paper. Craggett, however, was looking at the problem from the point-of-view of a person looking backwards from 2005 or so. It didn't immediately occur to him that things were very different in 1947. People today tend to forget that the first flying saucer ever seen by anybody was on June 25, 1947, about a week-and-a-half after Brazel found whatever it was that Brazel found.
At the time, Craggett didn't think very much about it, so he was still stuck in the little town of Backward Thinking, and the population of that annoying little suburb just off the map at reality's gate loves flying saucers. They can't get enough of them. Brazel, on the other hand, didn't even report what he'd seen -- not immediately. He acted for all the world like it was something he needed to work up to, something that might even be judged as a moral failing of some kind. Recognizing that just pissed Craggett off. His instincts coupled with all the background noise put out by modern UFOlogy made him want to get rid of all those flying saucers, because as much as some people like to bellyache and piss steaming spit and vinegar, there is nothing about the UFO issue that could possibly weigh very heavily on a man, proof of this being the almost relentless and pretentious assumption of applied sainthood being adopted by the contemporary crowds of the most recognizably foolish and inconsiderate professors of hoax law this planet has ever given birth to.
To be honest, Craggett's instincts were dead on. Brazel never acted like someone who had found something new and revolutionary to the overly human minds we all happen to be equipped with. He acted like he was guilty of something, which really got to Craggett right where it's supposed to: in the pit of your stomach. The UFO mythos is just another excuse to keep the neighbors awake and angry for all those bedroom people who like noise a heck of a lot more than the rest of us like music. Keep it to yourself. Nobody cares. According to Craggett, those who precipitate the inane yet unexplained claims are basically worthless, even to themselves, and Brazel's actions and his emotions can't possibly be interpreted as anything less than consequential -- but only for him. As for the saucers, they've always been attention grabbers, not good science, and nothing at all like the result of someone's good detective work.
Unfortunately, in his eagerness to get rid of the saucer problem that he assumed was an obstacle, he had missed the most important part of the lecture. You see, Craggett had reached the conclusion almost immediately that anything the command at Roswell Army Air Field wanted to keep private and personal and out of the newspapers -- anything at all -- would have very likely elicited a similar response from them, which was little more than an excuse; any excuse would have worked just as well, but this one was dangerous because it attracted way too much attention to keep what really happened a secret for very long. It therefore became immediately necessary to change that excuse and come up with one that was a little less newsworthy. After all, public interest throughout the world was inflamed by reports of a "flying disc" having been recovered, not a weather balloon. Immediately shutting down any association with all those reports of flying discs was primarily a means to deflect public interest, so the motivation for doing so could literally be anything that the army wanted to remain tight-lipped about. It didn't have to be "a real live flying saucer!" It could just as likely have been related to atomic weaponry. If you try and cover up the fact that a 12-year-old child figured out how to build an atom bomb, because he found the top secret DIY manual that some army messenger had accidentally dropped while checking out the scenery, and you decided that a cover-up should take the form of a possible flying disc -- which would have been beautiful, because it would also tend to explain why so many military police were raking out a square-mile of desert like a giant box of kitty litter -- your cover-up story is still going to attract way too much attention from newspaper reporters all over the world. The actual story being protected isn't even relevant, only the possibility that someone might trip over it in the dark.
And in the world of secrecy, my unfortunate friend, there is only the dark.
In his eagerness to rid the world of the "flying disc" mystery, Craggett dropped into the same old sand trap that many other investigators had dropped into before him. He made the very rude and untenable assumption that the U.S. Army had just made a stupid mistake regarding the "excuse story" they came up with. And, to be fair, that's exactly what most people thought, the only difference being that most people thought the army had made a stupid mistake and that Brazel hadn't found anything even remotely interesting. But then 30-years later, a small collection of treasure hunters and fools started trying to convince people that Brazel had indeed found something so alarmingly secret that the army went and got all excited about it, like a thirteen year old kid who found a stash of old Playboy magazines and started screaming, "lookee what I found! look at what I dug up!" while realizing at the very same time the extent of his own stupidity during that one blast of heavenly hyper-faith that every kid in the whole wide world discovers within his heart at least two dozen times in life before common sense tells him to shut the fuck up. The fall-out from the army's 12-hour bout with stupidity was allegedly realized almost immediately thereafter, as was their silly and sadly low key misapplication of public concern and well-being that caused them to make an almost instantaneous about-face to keep what had already been loudly announced as a brilliant find a complete secret, bouncing, thereby, like a jellyfish ball from one extreme to the other, just a subscription away from another relentlessly crowded newspaper full of American idiocy, a reflection of our ever-so-consistent nuclear paranoia that in this case represents such an oddly mild and unthreatening nightmare that millions of American idiots are still trying to explain it to a population that to this very day just doesn't give a damn.
About 25-years after that old-style Jacob and the Angel wrestling match between the facts and the fools that the American theater of the absurd tried and failed to present with just a little bit of dignity, Craggett came along and concluded that Brazel did indeed find something important, his inner spirit wrestled with his own reaction to whatever it was for a couple of weeks before telling the army about it, and the army decided that whatever Brazel found should not be publicized. To ensure the secret stayed a secret, they announced that one of the "flying discs" the entire country was so on fire about had crashed and been discovered in the desert north of Roswell, New Mexico. This, however, was so much of an overshoot, that the entire world was immediately eager to know all about that damn disc, so the army stepped back a bit from their awkward and irresponsible cover-up, and toned it down just enough to allow them to put a cap on the fizzy, shaken-up bottle of carbonated, world-wide journalism just before it overflowed the bottle and made what had been secret no longer secret in a very, very messy way like a Mentos and Coke cocktail. They locked Brazel up for what was apparently an annoying bit of time, but plenty long enough to give him a decent idea of what exactly his family would be looking at for the rest of their long lives after a completely silent and otherwise unrecognizable Army Ranger came along to put a bullet in his head just before dropping him like a stinking bag of laundry into a deep hole in the hot desert that Brazel himself was probably going to have to dig. And that was exactly how Brazel found himself a weather balloon -- zippity-do-dah. Do dah day.
The most disturbing part of the entire radical, nation-wide assessment of New Mexico's desert routine that came out of Roswell in 1947 was the army's incompetence, which is decidedly common to nearly every single explanation offered up in the past 60-plus years. Not a single one of the many hypothetical saucer stories that have been advanced fails to blame the entire disgusting mess on the complete and unconditional idiocy of the United States Army. It's almost funny how much stupidity managed to collect itself and breed throughout the army so soon after that same army had defeated in both the short and the long run every opponent it met on the field during World War Two. Even Craggett saw nothing remarkable about it. "I just figured that they picked the wrong excuse. Instead of deflecting interest in whatever Brazel had found, they were attracting interest from all over the world, so they needed to turn back, y'know, do a complete 180, 'cause it seemed obvious they didn't want all the attention they got. It was just a mistake they were fortunate enough to fix a day or so later. They was lucky all they got was embarrassed."
But that wasn't what happened at all.
|The disc is hexagonal in shape and was |
suspended from a ballon [sic] by cable
First mention of a possible flying disc, according to the commander at Roswell Army Air Field, had been advanced by Mack Brazel. Obviously, Brazel knew little about the disc sightings, and was instead offering an explanation more related to the shape of the radar reflectors often used on weather balloons than to the witness reports describing the flying saucers. This interpretation seems obvious given the contents of a memo sent to J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI: "The disc is hexagonal in shape and was suspended from a ballon [sic] by cable, which ballon [sic] was approximately twenty feet in diameter." Hoover lost interest completely and ignored further reports on the grounds that the Roswell disc had been identified as a radar reflector. In fact, nobody involved with the alleged recovery described the "flying disc" as anything particularly alarming, which begs the question, why keep it a secret after you've already made it public? Even if was an actual flying saucer from the stars, you've already defined its nature to J. Edgar Hoover. There is simply no believable reason for backtracking on the story the way the Army Air Corps obviously did, unless you're genuinely trying to look like a pack of idiots. For God's sake, if the press or any other interested parties questioned the "flying disc scenario", all the army needed to do was trot out a radar reflector. "Yeah, this is it -- this is the flying disc; we're pretty sure a large number of flying disc reports can be explained the same way. Who knew?"
Nobody knew; that's the point.
The only reason whatever Brazel had supposedly discovered out in the desert waste north of Roswell was initially reported as a flying disc, at least according to the army and local law enforcement, is because Mack Brazel had originally reported it as a flying disc! As for Brazel, once he was released from the army's "care", he refused to address these issues at all, which means that one side of the only relevant conversation that was going on in the whole world was now just a blank stare. The result of this one-sided interpretation was a disaster for the truth, because it ensured for the next 60-years that most of the world would fail to examine in any real depth what the army had actually done, and what most of the world would fail to recognize what their ignorance of military and government procedures would ultimately redefine. Without the authority dictated by Brazel's point of view, we're forced to ignore the Army Air Corps' motivation as it applied to the world in 1947. Fortunately, any thorough examination of motives -- if it's done with knowledge and a compassionate nod to history -- will nonetheless suggest an honest resolution.
Craggett may be only person in America willing to focus on the incident as it was being defined and redefined by the army. By doing so he couldn't help but notice that the only possible reason the army would have had for backtracking away from the saucer story so immediately and so thoroughly would be to maintain secrecy regarding an incident that had absolutely nothing to do with flying discs. This is also the only reason for Mack Brazel to keep his own role in the matter a secret as well, especially after a reasonable explanation had already been floated by the Director of the FBI. After all, Brazel would have been perfectly safe telling everyone he found a "flying disc", because the army had already made it clear that the "flying disc" could be easily associated with radar reflectors. This explanation is certainly what J. Edgar Hoover believed, and it is precisely why Hoover didn't give the incident any further thought whatsoever. He knew that the flying disc was a military-grade radar reflector. As Stan Lee would later declare, "'Nuff said!" If Brazel had found either a weather balloon and radar reflector or an actual flying saucer, both he and the Army Air Corps would have been just fine coming out, as Brazel apparently did according to the army and local law enforcement, and declaring that a "flying disc" had crashed north of Roswell, New Mexico. There would have been no reason for the army to withdraw their story so quickly. And yet, that's exactly what happened.
|J. Edgar Hoover knew there was nothing |
important about the Roswell flying disc
On the other hand, if Brazel had discovered something in the desert that had nothing at all to do with flying saucers, any statement from the army proposing the "flying disc scenario" would have to be immediately retracted simply to prevent all those journalists from getting too close and possibly discovering the army's fundamental deceit. Had this occured, it would have proven decisively that the army was indeed stage managing a cover-up of some sort. It's a little difficult for someone to say "Yeah, this is it -- this is the flying disc," when you're pointing right at something that is not a flying disc -- like maybe an onion for instance. This is the only scenario that can possibly account for all of the army's actions in regard to whatever the Hell was going on in July 1947, including its very public assumption of unreasonable incompetence. The army didn't pull back on the story because they wanted to protect their very real flying saucer. Hell, they could have just left the story alone and not one person in a million would have had a problem wth it. They would have nodded like J. Edgar Hoover did, and turned to look at whatever was next in line. The only reason in the world for the army to pull back on their story was to protect whatever it was that they were truly trying to keep in the dark and under the eaves. And it had nothing at all to do with the "flying disc mystery" that Brazel was apparently playing around with.
Most investigators and researchers willing to look at the case today, are necessarily critical of the way the army handled the whole matter. The flying discs represented a new mystery in 1947, and the term "UFO" hadn't even been invented, and yet the criticism directed at the army seems to be the result of the army's alleged stupidity for claiming that one of those mysterious flying saucers had crashed, and could be identified as a radar reflector of the type used throughout the nation on numerous weather balloons. This kind of an explanation, however, isn't necessarily a bad one unless you've already decided to invest that flying disc of 1947 with all of the properties of a UFO in 1977. J. Edgar Hoover had proven that when he accepted the radar reflector explanation without any further follow-up whatsoever, an action notably odd if the flying disc was an actual aircraft with unexplainable qualities. Not even Howard Hughes would choose to fly such an imaginary animal home, and he's one of the guys who bought into the deception in 1953 and thereby owned that tiny slice of government that 10-years later would find it useful to pretend John F. Kennedy had been murdered by the C.I.A. like solemn Pertinax at the hands of his own Praetorian Guards. It was the threat of ultimate blame for that horrendous crime that enabled the C.I.A. to overcome its own hubris and realize instead the most productive decade of its entire history, thereby making possible America's ultimate victory over Russian Communism and the destruction of the Soviet Union as a political force. The truth of this can be easily determined by merely examining the current membership of NATO, which now includes Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, a united Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Unfortunately, this type of discussion measuring the reactions of human creatures to the real and the unreal elements of aircraft that we have yet to properly imagine, as sensible and sound as the prospect of human economy in a world of cartoon characters and suicidal thieves, is exactly the kind of thinking that really sets Craggett on edge. He becomes like a puppy yapping at a porn star in downtown Houston. Unlike other investigators and researchers, Craggett gets handsomely pissed off every time he's forced to consider that damn flying disc mystery at all, and it doesn't matter a lick what year you're talking about. For Craggett, the whole thing is lunacy. Even after that ridiculous gathering of witnesses inspired by authors and cranks, he remained coldly positive that Brazel in a thousand lifetimes could never have found what was left of a flying saucer -- it's too ridiculous to even consider! A flying saucer, whether you're talking about 1947 or 2007, is faster than God and it comes from outer space; it isn't constructed of paper and balsa wood and wire and some pink tape with flowers and crap on it, and it isn't part of a weather balloon, or a Revell plastic model kit of an aircraft carrier, or a tiny Cessna with a wind-up rubberband engine and a tiny little cotton and fluff pilot with a cute little red ballcap. The fact is, if you look at all the newspaper reports from 1947, this whole scenario presents a solution that's so obvious and clear that not even the dumbass, well-funded army could be so dense and irresponsible not to get it. The whole country didn't give a tinker's damn about weather balloons or radar reflectors or those new vampire bat jets they were testing in the south of Wales, and although just about everybody in the entire country -- Hell, in the entire world! -- seemed so certain that those disks were man-made, and that they were probably top secret military ordnance like the guided missiles being developed in Texas or the newly realized spy aircraft that the military was testing in Nevada, everybody in the goddamn country still wanted to know exactly what those disks were and why nobody in the military or the government was willing to admit ownership of the damn things, all of which means those army boys must have been complete idiots to even consider using -- waitaminute ...
-- which is when the whole world turned inside out and back again so quickly it blanked out the sun, the whole goddamn sun! and Craggett knew like the sound of a rocket going off with the stuttering voice of cold thunder on top of those electrical dreams and explosive mayhem that the army didn't make common dumbass mistakes like that, not in 1947; Jesus God not even in 1997! And he laughed, yeah, he laughed his ass off 'cause he suddenly knew what was going on here, and what everybody else had completely missed.
The United States Army was far too purposeful about everything to make the kind of silly and irresponsible mistake that everybody in the entire world, regardless of what side of the issue they're arguing for, seems to be so certain of. Hell, they just won World War Two and that was a gathering of minds and warriors that nobody had even contemplated before it happened. World War One was the war to end all wars, but compared to World War Two, it was "Bat 'n' Ball Day" at Dodger Stadium.
It occured to Craggett almost like a revelation on Mt. Sinai that what the army had accomplished in 1947 was a signature example of true genius. The United States Army, having used and retained warriors of such genius throughout World War Two, was flush with it. And nothing motivates genius more than fighting a war to defend your nation -- and World War Two was such an extensive war that Americans have never seen the likes of it since. We had a surplus of genius to work with in 1947, and Craggett, quite suddenly, had realized the extent of that genius, and how it was reflected in the flying saucer to weather balloon scenario that the army was responsible for. That entire incident with its timing and its expression of incompetence was nothing less than brilliant and flawless psychology as far as Craggett could see.
"If you've got something that you want to hide, you draw attention to it in a big, big way, without revealing anything you consider important, and then you pull back and say, 'hey, guys, we're really sorry -- we just got it wrong. 'Our mistake, please don't hold it against us. We're just so sad and stupid is all.' The only problem with such a strategy is that part of the plan where 'you draw attention to it in a big, big way.' Of course, if you can't pinpoint the location that you're otherwise doing everything you can to define, then you really don't have a problem. When you tell the world that your big clumsy-ass mistake was established in one of these eleven places, which box do you pick -- hey, hey! Let's Make a Deal! -- all of a sudden you don't have a problem any more -- you've got a multiple choice, social studies test. And those guys knew the Hell out of their social studies. Sadly, nobody else did; but, then, nobody else was running the world the way the powerful and the wealthy United States of America was doing in 1947. The only problem with this scenario is the press. If you empower the press to start looking in desperation for the real story, you run the risk that someone will actually stumble over the truth, and that presents a problem that the army and the government of the United States wanted to avoid like a crash test dummy wants to avoid a brick wall. That problem, however, is easily mitigated if you're controlling the story: you reverse your stand almost immediately so nobody has the chance to examine it, and then you apologize for the obvious stupidity that led you to adopt that position in the first place. After all, Americans have never had a problem accepting and believing in the proposition of government stupidity, even when it's so clearly undeserved.
"The big miracle in Roswell wasn't this magic flying saucer. The big miracle was the fact that the army attracted no suspicions at all when they screamed out, 'hey, we got one! Bingo! We win!' Nobody would have been in a position to suspect anything at all if it hadn't been for a bunch of money-hungry, mutant conmen trying to convince everybody with a wallet that the army's misdirection strategy was actually a hasty bout of honesty that unfortunately had to be covered up for no real or established reason the very next day, and they did it 30-years after the fact! You want to know why we're so certain that a flying saucer just isn't an issue? Because the testimony that substantiated that claim was introduced to the world 30-years after the fact! In the course of those 30-years, not a single one of these freaking Roswell witnesses came forward with their claims. It wasn't until 1979, when a couple of applesauce stompers proved that there was money in the lie, and all you had to do was follow their example. They discovered buried treasure that you could dig out of the desert with a publication contract and a pen instead of a shovel. Goddamn irresponsible was all it really was. They didn't define or discover anything; they created shit and then tossed it at the whole world like a pissed off howler monkey in a cage!"
Brilliant and flawless psychology means that the army was well aware that once the "flying disc" had been identified as something prosaic, interest in the Roswell find would drop to absolutely nothing and would stay that way forever. Unfortunately, the army failed to predict the rising freakshow that sailed into Roswell a good 30-years later while convincing the whole world to come out and have a look.
It wasn't too long after his singular revelation that Craggett met Ardajio Jonas. It was at a nearly empty American Legion club in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the two men were certain they had nothing in common, so it was an easy afternoon that they filled with a couple of pitchers of draft beer and some pastrami sandwiches that were thrown together at the last minute. And then, just for the sake of conversation, Jonas started talking about Patient-X and all the odd little stories he had to tell about this cowboy he knew named Mack Brazel.
And then Roger Craggett's whole world changed.
And then Roger Craggett's whole world changed.
Thus ends our Part Two...
This work is the culmination of The Saucerologist's most complex and lengthy investigation to date. As a result, the necessity for travelling throughout the States of New Mexico, Maryland, Georgia, and Utah to conduct interviews and to access numerous archives of personal records has increased significantly the expenses and time required to complete the task. While it's true that we would prefer not to incur such a taxing condition, we would nonetheless be far more dissatisfied were we to ignore such obstacles that fate has placed before us. Expenses are relatively easy to ignore. Doing so, however, tends to increase the relative effect of the time we have invested in our pursuit of the truth. The Saucerologist therefore finds it necessary to apologize for the increased time between the varied Parts of our present examination of the alleged crash of a flying saucer north of Roswell, New Mexico. The Saucerologist apologizes for the sometimes inconsistent and untimely character of our publishing timetable. We are genuinely working towards a more palatable and consistent solution and hope to reduce our present consumption of minutes in the day. Please remember as well that ...
Part Three will be published right here in a bit of time measured out by clockwatchers in steps of quality found primarily at the end of grace! And always remember:
This is a Saucer Press International Publication